The Principal Investigators
Peri J. Ballantyne:
Dr. Ballantyne's past research has focused on pharmaceutical health care for the elderly, both the epidemiology of pharmaceutical health care and its implications (health, safety and economics) and on the social psychology of health care practices, these primarily focused on lay-perspectives on health, and health care including pharmaceutical health care. She conducts research on the health professional (pharmacy, medicine) endeavours to create new knowledge and to produce 'evidence' that supports it. This professional activity has direct implications for the public whose members receive the ministrations of health professionals and whose responses co-determine medical/pharmaceutical hegemony. In collaboration with Kevin Peters, Dr. Ballantyne has been conducting preliminary qualitative research specific to the public's views of MCI and dementia/Alzheimer disease (in details for Kevin Peters below). The relevance of this research to this proposal are the ways in which members of the public form ideas and assess information emerging from new medical diagnoses and treatments which are promoted in terms of 'discoveries.' Dr. Ballantyne has extensive research experience developing and conducting empirical research involving focus groups and interviews.
Stephen Katz (Nominated Principal Investigator):
Dr. Katz is well known in the fields of sociology of aging, the body and critical gerontology, in which he has been working for the past 25 years. His two books in these areas, Disciplining Old Age: The Formation of Gerontological Knowledge and Cultural Aging: Life Course, Life Style and Aging Worlds are considered important writings for drawing together the interdisciplinary knowledges and cultural practices which underlie aging research. Other articles, some co-authored with Dr. Barbara Marshall, examine the relationship between aging, enhancement and sexuality, and have laid the groundwork upon which Dr. Katz's current ideas and research on aging and cognitive health have been launched, including his collaboration with Kevin Peters and colleagues in the UK. Dr. Katz has conducted qualitative research on aging groups in several funded projects (1995-96, Universities of the Third Age in the UK; 1998-99, Canadian snowbird communities in South-western Florida; 2009, 'boomer' amateur music clubs in Toronto). He contributes to this CIHR-funded project his skills in historical, cultural, theoretical and critical analyses. His current research CV can be found here.
Dr. Peters has conducted research on the neuropsychological functioning of individuals who are Cognitively Impaired, but Not Demented (CIND), a label that is conceptually similar to MCI, with the goal of developing neuropsychological predictors to identify which CIND individuals would, and would not, progress to dementia. This work also focused on characterizing the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in CIND individuals and those with dementia, and related the presence of these neuropsychiatric symptoms to measures of functional disability. Dr. Peters, immersed in the field for the past 10 years, is currently forging a more critical approach to the research on the early identification and treatment of dementia. His expertise ideally situates him to evaluate the MCI criteria outlined in this proposal. His current Trent SSHRC-funded pilot study in collaboration with Peri Ballantyne has developed focus-group data on the perceptions of cognitive decline and related treatment interventions in healthy older adults and caregivers. Dr. Peters has also co-authored a peer-reviewed paper with Stephen Katz that explores the neurosciences, aging, anti-aging and memory medicine. These preliminary collaborations will aid in expanding initial findings in the proposed research that involving more detailed topics in various populations. His current research CV can be found here.