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.
OBI celebrated Brain Awareness Week 2016 by featuring women involved in neuroscience – from basic science to advocacy. Watch interviews with Dr. Gillian Einstein, a neuroscientist and expert in sex differences in the brain; Dr. Jason Lerch, who dives into the importance of the looking at the female side of basic research; Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, an OBI Entrepreneur and creator of smart mobility devices; Judith John, a brain tumour survivor, healthcare advocate and communications professional; and Marcia Moffat, OBI’s Vice Chair of the Board and BlackRock executive.
OBI celebrated International Women’s Day 2016 with a public talk on how women are changing the face of brain research, from basic science to advocacy. Check out the highlights above or watch the full talk here.
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”
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”
At the end of 2014, many of us – with the help of certain social media websites – were reflecting upon the past year of our lives. It was a big year for neuroscience and brain health, following from our proclaimed ‘Year of the Brain’. In this post for Alzheimer’s Awareness month we will reflect upon some of the most influential discoveries of 2014 related to Alzheimer’s research, and from this assess the current and future state of this ever-progressing field. If you’re interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease, tune in to the Facebook chat we are hosting with the Ontario Science Centre from 12:00-1:00 pm on January 20, 2015. Continue reading “Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Influential Discoveries of 2014”