Evidence of meeting #41 for Health in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was research.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Derek Walton  Member of Advocacy Committee, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of Canada
  • Galit Kleiner-Fisman  Neurologist and Movement Disorders Specialist, Baycrest Hospital
  • Deanna Groetzinger  Vice-President, Government Relations and Policy, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
  • Marie Vaillant  Vice-Chair, Ontario Division Board of Directors, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
  • Garth M. Bray  Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Neurological Health Charities Canada
  • Ian McDowell  Vice-Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Neurological Health Charities Canada

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Does anyone from the MS Society want to add anything?

10:30 a.m.

Vice-President, Government Relations and Policy, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Deanna Groetzinger

No, we're fine.

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Then we'll go to Mr. Walton briefly. Mr. Walton, do you want to add anything about family reports?

10:30 a.m.

Member of Advocacy Committee, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of Canada

Derek Walton

Definitely. We totally agree with the direction that is being proposed.

ALS is a crippling financial burden on families. It has no boundaries. Therefore, ALS clients quite often have to give up work and the caregiver obviously needs tax benefits.

Yes, definitely, we concur.

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Dr. Morin, you have just about half a minute left.

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Dany Morin Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Very well.

I’d like to mention a Manitoba government initiative, the inter-generational home forgivable loan program. Each year, this program has the potential to help up to 200,000 families add a second living area to their home in order to accommodate an elderly parent.

Are you aware of this program? Do you think this is a good way to help families take care of their loved ones?

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Very briefly, please--like, ten seconds.

10:30 a.m.

Vice-President, Government Relations and Policy, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Deanna Groetzinger

Okay.

Our Manitoba division of the MS Society has been working very closely with the Manitoba government on a number of other initiatives regarding caregivers. I think Manitoba has done some great leadership in that area.

Thank you.

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Thank you very much.

Mr. Lizon.

May 1st, 2012 / 10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

Welcome to all the witnesses, and thank you.

My first question is on MS treatment. The Zamboni treatment was discussed here this morning, and actually it's been discussed for a while. Where are we in finding, or trying to find, the cause of the disease? Of course treating the condition is one thing, but I think the key to success would be finding a cause. Associated with this would be early detection of the symptoms, or really of the disease. That would probably greatly help in stopping the progression of the disease.

This is to whoever wants to address it. We briefly touched on it at the last meeting with Dr. Krewski and others who were there. Is there any international cooperation in the studies so that we don't reinvent the wheel and every single country doesn't have to repeat the same process of clinical studies? Is there a way of exchanging information?

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Mrs. Groetzinger, and then maybe we'll also get Dr. McDowell to respond from an overall perspective.

10:30 a.m.

Vice-President, Government Relations and Policy, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Deanna Groetzinger

Perfect.

I'll start by saying that actually, interestingly enough, the MS Society of Canada funds a large research program, and obviously one of the targets we want to support is looking at actually what triggers this disease.

I think it was Dr. Sellah who asked the question about looking at CCSVI in children. Even before that, we'd been funding research, by Dr. Brenda Banwell at the Hospital for Sick Children, looking at MS in children; it's rare, but it does occur. That actually provides perhaps some insight into what might trigger that disease. If someone develops MS at the age of three or five or eight, then their life experiences are.... It's far less complicated than looking at someone who develops the disease at 30.

So yes, there's certainly work on that. It's a complex disease. It's probably a combination of genetics and environment and various other exposures.

I can assure you that on the international level, certainly with MS and I suspect with other neurological conditions, there's a lot of international collaboration, because we certainly don't want to reinvent the wheel.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Dr. McDowell, would you like to answer the question as well?

10:35 a.m.

Vice-Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Neurological Health Charities Canada

Dr. Ian McDowell

I think one of the skills in developing a national brain strategy will be to pay close attention to the balance between funding the clinical trials of treatments once it is in effect too late—the horse is getting out the door—versus doing etiological studies that may lead to preventive opportunities, which obviously is what we would all dream about.

So establishing that balance I think is going to be very, very interesting—and is a great challenge for you.

10:35 a.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Libby Davies

Mr. Lizon, you have about 30 seconds left, if you want to follow up.