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”

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”

Addressing Dementia Research And Care: Can ‘Big Data’ Help?

We live in a world of big data which can serve as a particularly useful tool for health systems to gain a better understanding of patients and their needs across large populations. With appropriate use, big data has the potential to advance health research and help healthcare providers personalize care; however, this has been largely unrealized because of the challenges associated with connecting, processing, and analyzing large data sets to produce meaningful conclusions. Continue reading “Addressing Dementia Research And Care: Can ‘Big Data’ Help?”

Peering Into dementia

The eyes are said to be the ‘windows into the soul’. Now a novel technique is allowing researchers to take this romantic thought to a new level and use the eye as a ‘window into the brain’— to better understand and diagnose brain disorders. Continue reading “Peering Into dementia”

Exercise as medicine

As you leave the doctor’s office you look down at the prescription pad and notice that instead of a drug your doctor has prescribed a dose of… exercise? This should really come as no surprise considering that by combining all the benefits discussed previously, aerobic exercise acts like a ‘cocktail therapy’ to improve brain health. There is little doubt that a dose of exercise is foundational for brain health, but did you know exercise can also be used as medicine to prevent, treat or recover from several brain disorders? Here are some examples: Continue reading “Exercise as medicine”

Walking Away From Dementia

Report finds that physical activity protects us from losing brain function

A new report by the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) shows that more than one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be prevented by moderate physical activity. Continue reading “Walking Away From Dementia”