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”

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”

Playing for better health

Image Courtesy of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Gaming platforms make therapy fun for kids with limited mobility

Experts at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are turning popular video games into a new form of home-based therapy for children with one of the most common types of cerebral palsy (CP). Continue reading “Playing for better health”