Connecting Research Back to the Community

Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) believes connecting its research programs with patients and their advocates is critical to having relevant and high impact programs.

OBI has worked with each of its Integrated Discovery Programs (ID) to form five separate Patient Advisory Committees (PACs) that consist of advisors from various neurological health charities (e.g., Alzheimer Society of Ontario or Autism Ontario), researchers, caregivers, and patients. The purpose of these committees is to bring the patient voice to our ID Programs, promote knowledge exchange between patients, advocates, caregivers and researchers, discuss key issues for patients, and connect the research back to their communities faster. Continue reading “Connecting Research Back to the Community”

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”

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.

Continue reading “Reducing the stigma of overdose and increasing 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”

This is your brain on exercise

Imagine there is a drug that combats aging by regenerating brain cells, improving cognition, and strengthening memory. Sometime in the future this might be possible, but in the meantime, there is a low cost, easily accessible way to get all of these benefits: exercise. Not to mention the fact that regular exercise is the single best thing to boost one’s overall health, recent scientific evidence points to the fact that physical activity also improves brain health and brain function. The changes that happen inside your brain during exercise may surprise you. Continue reading “This is your brain on exercise”