Research | Baycrest

Public Event

Memory loss and aging: When to worry and what to do about it

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, Room 206

Tune into our live stream on Baycrest's Facebook page.

7-8 pm – Public Lecture by Dr. Howard Chertkow
8-9 pm – Round-table discussion and Q&A period

What happens to memory as you get older?  How can you distinguish changes that are considered normal from those that are worrisome? What can you do to prevent or minimize the changes that can lead to memory decline and even Alzheimer Disease?

Come hear the answer to these and other questions at our free public event, Memory loss and aging: When to worry and what to do about it.

One of Baycrest’s newest recruits, Dr. Howard Chertkow, a remarkably distinguished cognitive neurologist, will give a one-hour talk about what memory changes we should be concerned about and the latest research in dementia prevention.

Following Dr. Chertkow’s talk, members of the audience can ask any memory or dementia questions to our panel of experts and an individual with dementia, which includes:

Moderator: Dr. Allison Sekuler

Dr. Allison Sekuler is the Sandra Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and VP Research, Baycrest Health Sciences, and Managing Director, for the Rotman Research Institute and the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation. A graduate of Pomona College (BA, Mathematics and Psychology) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, Psychology), she holds faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and McMaster University. Her research focuses on understanding how the brain processes visual information, and how that processing changes across our lifetimes, with an aim of developing methods to prevent, detect, and treat age-related sensory and cognitive decline.



Dr. Howard Chertkow

Over the last 30 years, Dr. Chertkow has diagnosed and treated patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. He helped found and direct Canada’s largest memory clinic and led the team that created the internationally adopted screening tool for cognitive loss, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).

Dr. Chertkow is the Chair in Cognitive Neurology and Innovation and Senior Scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute. He is also the Director of the Kimel Family Centre for Brain Health and Wellness and Director of the Clinical Trials Unit at Baycrest, as well as a Clinical Advisor to the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation. Dr. Chertkow is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging and a Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto.


Dr. Gillian Einstein

Dr. Gillian Einstein is The Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto and Guest Professor of Gender and Health at Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden. Her broader interests encompass memory, the long term effects of hormone treatment, and the bridge between our scientific understanding of the nervous system and larger concerns having to do with self, identity, feminism, and the nature of science.

Professor Einstein received her AB from Harvard University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied visual neuroanatomy. She has published on Alzheimer disease, vision, sex differences, Female Genital Cutting, and estrogens’ effects on pain, sleep, memory and mood. Her current research is on the effects of estrogens and culture on women’s biologies and she is currently funded to study cognitive and brain changes in young women who have had their ovaries removed before natural menopause.


Dr. Saskia Sivananthan

Dr. Saskia Sivananthan is currently the Chief Research and KTE Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Previously, she served as a senior strategy and policy advisor consulting for the World Health Organization (WHO) on its overall global dementia strategy. Dr. Sivananthan co-drafted the WHO’s Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia which was unanimously adopted at the 170th World Health Assembly by all 194 member-states.

She and her team were also responsible for developing the WHO Global Dementia Observatory, an online platform for collating data to support countries to develop evidence-based policies in dementia and monitor progress toward targets outlined in the dementia action plan.

Dr. Sivananthan is a neuroscientist and health data scientist who uses population-level data to understand aging. She works in health system development and with governments on health services, policy and strategies to improve health for older adults with complex needs and those living with dementia.

An active researcher, Dr. Sivananthan holds a PhD in Health Services & Policy Research from the University of British Columbia as well as an MSc in Neurology and Neuroscience from McGill University.


Scott Russell

Scott is the Chief Executive Officer for the Alzheimer Society of Toronto (AST). Scott is an innovator, joining AST in 2013, to lead the implementation and launch of AST’s Music Project. In 2015, Scott was seconded to the Alzheimer Society of Canada to lead the nationwide fundraising and development programs through a year of significant transition, before returning to AST as their Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining AST he held a number of senior positions in the community services and health sector.



Dr. Richard Sztramko

Dr. Richard Sztramko practices both Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine at St. Peter’s, Hamilton General, and Juravinski Hospitals in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  He is a Masters in eHealth candidate at McMaster, has co-founded a startup (Virtual Ward) dealing with healthcare provider communication in hospitals, worked on design with telehealth companies (Medeo), and created an online education tool for patients with Dementia and their caregivers (iGeriCare).   He is passionate about leveraging technology to create value for patients, caregivers, healthcare workers, and investors.



Phyllis Fehr

Phyllis Fehr is a retired registered nurse, sexual assault nurse examiner, and medical laboratory assistant who will speak about her experience living with mixed Alzheimer’s disease.