Défi Douglas : A Second Sporting Event in August


For immediate release




Montreal, April 29, 2016. – Following the success of its first edition, the Défi Douglas invites you to take part in its second edition. On Sunday, August 14, we invite you to combine health and generosity in a unique sporting event organized in collaboration with the Triathlon de Verdun-Desjardins, the best-known race on the Triathlon Québec circuit.

The goal is to raise $100,000 for the Douglas Institute Foundation, which for close to 45 years has worked for the cause of mental health, developing successful projects that have a direct impact on patients’ health and on those close to them, in addition to supporting mental health research. The means to attain this goal is to take up the challenge in a way that suits you – by participating in either a duathlon or triathlon – on your own or as part of a team. Participants are asked to show their support for people living with mental illness and those close to them, and to pledge to raise $500 for the cause.

The funds raised will allow the Douglas, which is the most important mental health research centre in Quebec and is recognized as a leader in the field in Canada, to pursue research in neuroscience and mental health, offer first-rate care to people living with mental illness and continue to raise awareness among the population.

The Défi Douglas: a sporting and festive event

The Défi Douglas will take place behind the Verdun Natatorium, located at 6500 Lasalle Boulevard. The distances for the two challenges are:
For the Duathlon: Run: 5 km; Bike: 20 km; Run: 2.5 km.
For the Triathlon: Swim: 750 m; Bike: 20 km; Run: 5 km.

Just imagine the adrenaline! For participants, this is the opportunity to join some 1,200 athletes who are taking part in the Triathlon de Verdun-Desjardins. The Défi Douglas is also a festive event for family and friends, and all are welcome.

Research at the Douglas among the most productive and innovative in Canada and worldwide

The Douglas continues to innovate and advance the frontiers of existing knowledge in mental health, in particular with such unique research programs as the StoP-Alzheimer Centre, established in 2009, which relies on a bank of volunteer participants. It was at the Douglas, in 1993, that a team of researchers discovered the principle gene associated with the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease, and more recently, the gene that protects against the disease, creating shock waves around the world. Continuing this tradition of scientific discovery, the StoP-Alzheimer Centre has maintained its lead in the field by integrating the PREVENT-Alzheimer’s programme, which, thanks to positron emission tomography (PET) and radioactive tracer (radiotracer) injection into the bloodstream, refines new tests to arrive at precise measures of the disease’s progress. The program also aims to use newly developed radiotracers to follow in real time the onset of abnormal protein deposits (amyloid and tau) in the brains of volunteer participants over the 5 to 10 years preceding formal diagnosis of the disease.

The addition of this technology to information already collected from volunteer participants in the PREVENT-Alzheimer program will make the StoP-Alzheimer Centre the only centre in the world capable of obtaining this type of information, whose value is incalculable when it comes to advancing knowledge related to early prevention of Alzheimer’s disease both here and around the world. The findings and results of research from this program are regularly presented at international conferences. This is just one of many examples of research that is taking place at the Douglas in the field of mental health and that has an impact worldwide.

Why this challenge affects each one of us

At some point in their lives, one in five people will be faced with mental health problems that may require a diagnosis. Science is making giant advances in this field, but funds to support research are scarce. Your involvement will help the Douglas continue to make progress, and provide cutting-edge treatment and the possibility of early recovery for those living with a mental illness.

Join the 2016 Défi Douglas. Whether you’re a beginner or an accomplished athlete, we hope to see you in great numbers. Each and every person makes a real difference.

The Douglas is a world leader in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease, psychoses, eating disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), suicide and its prevention and child psychiatry.

Caroline Apollon
Director of Development
514-761-6131; ext.: 2761


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