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Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, MD FRCPC

Pronouns: he/him



Cumming School of Medicine

Full Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Full Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Full Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Community Health Sciences

Full Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Brain and Mental Health Research Clinics Initiative

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education

Contact information

Phone number

Office Admin: 403.210.6900

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I'm looking for...

Study participants

1) Dementia caregivers (family or paid/professional caregivers) age≥40 years;

2) Any older adults who are cognitively unimpaired through to those who have Alzheimer disease for clinical studies/trials


Educational Background

FRCPC Psychiatry, University of Alberta,

Diploma, United Council for Neurological Subspecialties Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry, University of Toronto,

FRCPC Geriatric Psychiatry, University of Toronto,


Dr Zahinoor Ismail is a Clinician Scientist and Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, Epidemiology, and Pathology at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and O’Brien Institute for Public Health, at the University of Calgary. He has certification in Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry, and has over 20 years of clinical experience. His research program encompasses: i) rating scale development and measurement-based care in neurological and psychiatric disorders; ii) neuropsychiatric disease epidemiology and diagnosis; iii) nosology, assessment, and management of non-cognitive markers of dementia; iv) neuroimaging and biomarker studies of dementia and predementia syndromes; and v) dementia clinical trials of cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. His research has been funded by Brain Canada, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Dr. Ismail is Chair of the Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia, which generates Canadian dementia guidelines, the most recent iteration of which were published in 2020. He is also Chair of the Canadian Conference on Dementia, and Academic Co-chair of the US Alzheimer’s Association-ISTAART Neuropsychiatric Syndromes Professional Interests Area. Dr Ismail led the ISTAART development of the neurobehavioural syndrome Mild Behavioural Impairment (MBI) and the MBI Checklist, and co-led development of the new research criteria for biomarker and phenotypic classification of psychosis in AD and related dementias. Dr. Ismail is a contributor to international working groups advancing nosology in neurodegenerative diseases. He is an author on the revised IPA criteria for Psychosis in Neurocognitive Disorders, ISCTM-ISTAART criteria for Apathy in Neurocognitive Disorders, and the upcoming revision of the IPA criteria for Agitation in Neurocognitive Disorders.


Participation in university strategic initiatives