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Multi-year CIHR grant supports McMaster study at the intersection of aging and infectious disease

29 JAN, 2024

The new funding will specifically support studies at the intersection of aging and infectious disease.

“For decades, it’s been known that older adults who are hospitalized with serious respiratory infections are at risk of long-term cognitive health consequences. In fact, just being up to date on your pneumococcal, influenza and shingles vaccines can drastically decrease your risk of dementia

In particular, the new grant will allow Bowdish and her colleagues to explore exactly how infection-caused inflammation can impair learning, memory and immune cell function. They will also test anti-inflammation drugs as a possible prevention measure against cognitive decline.

The study, co-led by Chris Verschoor, an assistant professor in McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, features collaborators from across McMaster and from the University of Toronto. Together, the interdisciplinary group hopes to identify interventions that will reduce the incidence and burden of dementia.
The new project — along with the seed-funded work that preceded it — is just one of the many ways Bowdish is working at the crossroads of aging and infectious disease. She is also studying COVID-19 in long-term care, the aging gut microbiome, and immune responses to vaccination and infection in older adults.


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