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”

Grooming Entrepreneurial Talent for Great Health Returns

Ontario has one of the highest concentrations of neuroscientists in the world, creating an opportunity for a thriving industry around the development of neurotechnologies to treat brain disorders. However, a study of Ontario’s ability to develop a neurotechnology cluster highlighted two obstacles; a lack of access to capital and insufficient managerial talent. Continue reading “Grooming Entrepreneurial Talent for Great Health Returns”

Enhancing the Neuroscience Research System through Strategic Collaborations

Brain disorders affect one in three Ontarians and the direct cost to the province exceeds $4 billion each year. The indirect costs from work missed and the emotional costs for families are incalculable and create an urgency to address brain health by means of innovation and translational research that can improve the quality of life for people living with brain disorders. Continue reading “Enhancing the Neuroscience Research System through Strategic Collaborations”

Another side of cerebral palsy: the genetic story

Photo credit: Veronica Rousseau

By: Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

In the age of genomics we are racing to uncover what our genes say about us. If we had the ability to read our genetic code and learn what’s in store, we could play to our strengths and prepare for our limitations.

One obstacle to deciphering the information in our genes is knowing what patterns to look for in specific genes. For some disorders, like Huntington’s disease, clinicians know exactly what gene to look at and how to read the signs. Other diseases, like cancer, are too diverse to find a single gene pattern; instead, we subdivide cancer into sets and look for gene patterns in each set.

Continue reading “Another side of cerebral palsy: the genetic story”

Research Updates

OBI’s Integrated Discovery Programs bring together over 200 core researchers and clinicians, 35 institutions, 40 companies, and 20 patient advocacy groups from across Ontario.

Read about their latest news and progress in the updates that they have provided. Continue reading “Research Updates”

Hitting A Bullseye Using Biomarkers

By: Martin Smith, OBI Intern, Outreach

The brain is complicated.  After a century of research we are still making new discoveries every day.  Our knowledge of how this organ works is limited because it is a network of highly-specialized cells and the network is always being rewired. Continue reading “Hitting A Bullseye Using Biomarkers”

Expanding The Borders Of Research Through Cross-Disorder Collaborations

While autism, epilepsy, or depression may at first seem worlds apart, there is benefit in studying these and other brain disorders together. Each condition has unique traits, but there is often overlap. For instance, people living with autism may experience depression and people living with cerebral palsy may have seizures. Brain research is inherently complex – different disorders may share similar underlying causes and similar disorders may have very different underlying causes. Although this makes things complicated, it also creates an opportunity to borrow insights from one disorder to inform research into another disorder. Continue reading “Expanding The Borders Of Research Through Cross-Disorder Collaborations”