Meet Ontario’s Brain Power Day at Queen’s Park

The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) held “Meet Ontario’s Brain Power” at Queen’s Park on Monday, September 11, 2017. The event highlighted OBI’s work across the province that has positioned Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care. More than 60 researchers, companies and patient representatives demonstrated community and economic impacts. Below are a few photos from the day. Continue reading “Meet Ontario’s Brain Power Day at Queen’s Park”

Searching for signs of depression and suicide

By Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

Individuals who have attempted suicide often say that if one person had taken a minute to ask them how they were feeling it could have prevented them from engaging in suicidal behaviour. While it’s healthy to regularly discuss feelings with loved ones, and we want to support those in need, how can we tell when someone is contemplating suicide and if we should talk about it with them? Beyond individual help, it can also be challenging to find systemic help. A recent ICES report found that mental health and addictions care for youth is poor in five provinces, including Ontario.

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Reducing the stigma of overdose and increasing awareness

By: Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

There is a tendency to categorize people who have died or been injured by overdose as “others,” but overdose can affect anyone – our friends, our parents, our siblings, our children and even ourselves. The impact of overdose extends beyond each individual, onto their family, their friends and the people who care about them which is why we need to address the stigma around overdose collectively.

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Expanding The Borders Of Research Through Cross-Disorder Collaborations

While autism, epilepsy, or depression may at first seem worlds apart, there is benefit in studying these and other brain disorders together. Each condition has unique traits, but there is often overlap. For instance, people living with autism may experience depression and people living with cerebral palsy may have seizures. Brain research is inherently complex – different disorders may share similar underlying causes and similar disorders may have very different underlying causes. Although this makes things complicated, it also creates an opportunity to borrow insights from one disorder to inform research into another disorder. Continue reading “Expanding The Borders Of Research Through Cross-Disorder Collaborations”

Autism Across the Lifespan

What do you see when you think of autism? Up until recently, I would picture early intervention with children. But what happens once those children grow up? While early intervention and services for children are important, the needs of adults living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gone somewhat unnoticed. Children with ASD grow up to be adults with ASD, and continue to have needs that require supports and services.
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Mythbusters: The Brain Edition

There are a lot of folktales, sayings and “common sense” statements surrounding the topic of brain health. These statements or blurbs can be a one-liner heard on the news, a topic discussed on the radio, or even a meme on the internet. For example, “we only use 10% of our brains” is a fairly prevalent phrase – it was even the premise of the 2014 box office movie hit “Lucy.” In the movie, Morgan Freeman states, “It is estimated most human beings use only 10 %of the brain’s capacity… imagine if we could access 100%.”  In fact, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that 90% of the human brain is unused. What would be a more accurate statement is that we actually have little understanding of how our brains work. Continue reading “Mythbusters: The Brain Edition”

Brain-CODE’s Leadership

In this era of big data and analytics, organizations are looking for ways to make use of all the information available to facilitate innovation, decision making and operations. Big data analytics in health research has been an important topic for the past few years and making data more accessible to a larger number of researchers leads to more efficient research strategies and creates new opportunities for scientific discoveries. When scientists have the opportunity to collaborate and share data, the value of each of their work is maximized and can be built on collectively. Continue reading “Brain-CODE’s Leadership”