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Dr. Howard Chertkow
Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Director, Bloomfield Centre for Research in Aging, Lady Davis Institute

Dr. Howard Chertkow is a cognitive neurologist and co-founder and Director of the Jewish General Hospital / McGill Memory Clinic, the largest such clinic in Canada. He has been continuously funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and its forerunner, the MRC, for the past 20 years. He currently holds CIHR grants to explore the natural history of mild cognitive impairment and the neural substrate of semantic memory. Dr. Chertkow’s salary support has included a prestigious
Chercheur national award from the FRSQ.

Dr. Chertkow is past President of the Canadian Consortium of Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R). He was coordinator of the cognition axis of the FRSQ Network on Aging. He currently sits on the Research Advisory Board of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, and was a key member of a Quebec committee mandated in 2008 to draw up a provincial strategy for dementia management. He is the only non-American sitting on the NIH committee which funds Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centres across the United States. Dr. Chertkow is the Scientific Organizer of the 2011 world meeting of Alzheimer’s Disease International.

In 2006, he chaired the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia, which brought together many of the country’s experts to formulate new guidelines for physicians. Results have been published nationally and internationally and will form the basis of physician training and government policy in Canada regarding dementia in the coming years.  These results are being disseminated with the support of knowledge transfer grants from the CIHR to Dr. Chertkow.

In 2008 Dr. Chertkow received the national Irma Parhad Award from C5R for contributions to excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease research. 

Major Research Activities

Dr. Chertkow’s major areas of research include: 1) early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and prediction of deterioration in individuals with mild cognitive impairment; 2) the structure, organization, and function of the semantic memory component of long term memory and its deterioration in dementia; 3) localization of language and memory functions in the brain using functional imaging; and 4) development of knowledge transfer tools to allow physicians to better diagnose cognitive decline.

He was  among the first researchers to recognize and describe the loss of long term semantic memory that occurs in Alzheimer’s Disease, along with describing abnormalities of increased semantic priming in that condition. His laboratory has carried out ground-breaking work in mild cognitive impairment and was the first to describe imaging changes, such as abnormal magnetization transfer ratios.

In 2005, he and his colleagues, Ziad Nasreddine and Natalie Phillips, published the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), now used around the world to screen for cognitive loss in the elderly.  Thompson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators noted this to be the most cited paper in mild cognitive impairment, 2006-2009.

Recent Publications

Chertkow, H. (2008). Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: Introduction. Introducing a series based on the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia. Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), 178 (3 316-321.

Chertkow, H., Massoud, F., Nasreddine, Z., Belleville, S., Joanette, Y., Bocti, C., Drolet, V., Kirk, J., & Bergman. (2008). Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: 3. Mild Cognitive Impairment and cognitive impairment, without dementia.
Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). 178 (10),1273-85.

Chertkow, H., Whitehead, V., Phillips, N., Wolfson, C., Atherton, J., & Bergman, H. (2010). Multilingualism (but not always bilingualism) delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease - evidence from a bilingual community.
Alzheimer’s Disease & Associated Disorders, 24, 118–125.


Dr. Howard Chertkow, a clinician/scientist, is a cognitive neurologist and director of the JGH/ McGill Memory Clinic, Canada’s largest.

Dr. Chertkow’s laboratory carries out clinical research into Alzheimer’s Disease and mild memory loss, focusing on imaging, early diagnosis, and cognitive neuroscience studies.

Dr. Chertkow’s studies of long term memory and early markers of Mild Cognitive Impairment are internationally recognized.

Dr. Chertkow has played major roles in national Alzheimer’s Disease organizations, consensus conferences, NIH and CIHR granting agencies, and national and international meetings of Alzheimer’s Disease scientists.

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