Montreal will be in the front line trenches in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as a major new organization has been launched to battle neuro-degenerative diseases

The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), to be based at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, will be funded with $31.5 M over five years from the federal government as well as 13 partners from the public and private sectors, including the Alzheimer Society of Canada and Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé.

The CCNA will also receive $24M from partners in Ontario and Quebec.

Federal Minister of Health Rona Ambrose was on hand Wednesday for the launch of the group, which promises to include over 300 researchers from 20 organizations across Canada,

The organization aims to increase prevention of the neurological diseases as well as delay their onset and to improve quality of life of those already afflicted.

Dr. Howard Chertkow, who will lead the CCNA, said in a statement Wednesday that the group wants to find a cure for the dread diseases.

“By supplying an infrastructure, shared research platforms, national research teams, and a cohesive research agenda, we hope to accelerate our current progress towards new treatments, better understanding of Alzheimer's disease and associated diseases, improved quality of life for our patients and their families, and eventually the cures for these conditions," he wrote.

An estimated 750,000 Canadians currently cope with Alzheimer’s of dementia, a number expected to increase.