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2024 Ryman Prize awarded to globally renowned brain health expert Professor Vladimir Hachinski

Written by Ryman Healthcare
on March 28, 2024


Canadian clinical neuroscientist and researcher Professor Vladimir Hachinski has been announced the winner of the 2024 Ryman Prize - an annual $250,000 grant for the world’s best discovery, development, advancement or achievement that enhances the quality of life for older people.

The prize was presented by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon at a ceremony at Logan Campbell Village in Auckland today, celebrating the major contribution Professor Hachinski has made to the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and the links between ‘the terrible three’ - stroke, dementia and coronary heart disease. 

Judged by an international jury, Hachinski has been recognised for his pioneering work in dementia.   He was the first to coin the term ‘multi-infarct dementia’ - after a type of dementia that is caused by a series of small strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue – and went on to develop the Hachinski ischemic scale, described by cardiologists and stroke experts around the world as the best and most widely used clinical method to distinguish between degenerative dementia and multi-infarct dementia.

In addition, Hachinski advocates for prevention by promoting the idea of “holistic brain health”, linking cerebral health with mental and social health - our ability to interact and form meaningful relationships with others.

Ryman Healthcare Group CEO Richard Umbers says, "Professor Hachinski’s long career in stroke, dementia and heart disease research and his ambition to educate others in the ways to prevent them make his research hugely important to combat dementia globally. Ryman is a leading provider of residential dementia care in New Zealand and our villages are places that promote holistic brain health, through active healthy socially connected lifestyles.  Professor Hachinski’s work resonated with us deeply."

Professor Hachinski also founded, with John W Norris, the world’s first successful acute stroke unit, which is now the standard of care across the globe and was instrumental in launching the first World Brain Day, now in its 10th year, to advance the cause of Brain Health and Disability.  

"Ryman’s purpose is to enhance freedom, connection and wellbeing for people as they grow older. The award embodies that mission perfectly - in its ninth year, it’s our way of acknowledging and supporting groundbreaking work in the care of older people," says Umbers.


About the Ryman Prize:

The Ryman Prize is a $250,000 grant which is awarded annually to the best global invention, idea, research concept or initiative that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

The Ryman Prize has seen eight winners since its launch in 2015 and is awarded in New Zealand by the sitting Prime Minister. The winner is selected by an international jury panel, and entry is open to the world’s brightest and best engineers, thinkers, scientists, clinicians or inventors.

About Ryman:

Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 48 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman villages are home to 14,200 residents, and the company employs 7,600 staff. 

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