Physical activity protects us from losing brain function

By Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

As our population ages, Canadians are looking for ways to prevent dementia. As of 2010, there are 136 000 Ontarians living with a confirmed diagnosis of dementia. In addition to the impact on individuals and their families, the direct cost to the Ontario health care system is eight times higher for an individual living with dementia than it is for the average Ontarian. Continue reading “Physical activity protects us from losing brain function”

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.

Continue reading “Searching for signs of depression and suicide”

International Self Care Day – 5 Tips for Maximizing Brain Health

Keeping our brains healthy is a great way to take care of ourselves; fortunately, what’s good for our bodies is also good for our brains.

The Ontario Brain Institute’s President and Scientific Director, Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, shares 5 tips to help you take charge of your brain health.

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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: 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”