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.
Continue reading “Autism Across the Lifespan”

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 Injury: Planting the Seeds for Greater Awareness

Facing the realities of a new life after experiencing a brain injury can be a source of struggle, pain, and a journey of self-discovery. Simple pleasures like playing with your children, making a delicious meal, or biking with a friend can be stripped away in an instant with injuries to the brain following motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, and assaults.  June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada and the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) offers important services for the community including education, awareness, and support. Continue reading “Brain Injury: Planting the Seeds for Greater Awareness”

Brain: The Ontario Story

This is the first thing you see as you enter ‘Brain: The Inside Story’ exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre. It is a metaphor— a reminder that your brain is constantly at work, sending signals through wiry fibres called axons that connect the 86 billion neurons and gives rise to everything you think, feel, and do. It is truly remarkable that the brain does so much, and this exhibition dives deep into how the brain senses, emotes, thinks, ages, and how emerging or existing technologies will change our brains in the 21st century. Continue reading “Brain: The Ontario Story”

Meeting Purple Day with Integrated Efforts

By: Tamer Ismail, OBI Intern, Industry Relations

March 26th marks international Purple Day—a day to promote epilepsy awareness. This neurological disorder, characterized by erratic bursts of electrical activity, or seizures, affects many of us—about 80,000 people in Ontario alone which is why I think it’s critical that epilepsy awareness and support live up to the challenge. Continue reading “Meeting Purple Day with Integrated Efforts”

Connecting Families With The Research Community

One of OBI’s major goals is to facilitate collaboration between patients and their advocates, researchers, clinicians, and industry to improve outcomes for those affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. One of the best ways to do this is simply to bring people together which is one of the reasons why OBI’s Integrated Discovery program, the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Network, held a parent information day on May 3, 2014 to engage in dialogue with the parents and family members of children participating in POND.“I now know many of the researchers involved in POND very well. The day gave us insight into how they work together and share an interest in the POND network and POND philosophies,” explained Connie Putterman, a parent representative on the POND Patient Advisory Committee. Continue reading “Connecting Families With The Research Community”