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”

Brain-CODE’s Leadership

In this era of big data and analytics, organizations are looking for ways to make use of all the information available to facilitate innovation, decision making and operations. Big data analytics in health research has been an important topic for the past few years and making data more accessible to a larger number of researchers leads to more efficient research strategies and creates new opportunities for scientific discoveries. When scientists have the opportunity to collaborate and share data, the value of each of their work is maximized and can be built on collectively. Continue reading “Brain-CODE’s Leadership”

Brain Injury: Planting the Seeds for Greater Awareness

Facing the realities of a new life after experiencing a brain injury can be a source of struggle, pain, and a journey of self-discovery. Simple pleasures like playing with your children, making a delicious meal, or biking with a friend can be stripped away in an instant with injuries to the brain following motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, and assaults.  June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada and the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) offers important services for the community including education, awareness, and support. Continue reading “Brain Injury: Planting the Seeds for Greater Awareness”

Message from Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI

Of all the mysteries in neuroscience, memory is among the most heavily researched.  There is an important distinction between semantic( basic general knowledge; e.g., Paris is the capital of France) and episodic, or personal, memories (tied to time, place, people; e.g., last Saturday night, my wife and I had a fantastic dinner of mushroom risotto at a restaurant near the market).  Because episodic memory is personal, it is the connection to our past, and who we are now.  But it is also a core to our vision of the future. And the more salient and emotional the memory, the more it becomes embedded in who we are. Continue reading “Message from Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director of OBI”

Updates from our Research Programs

OBI’s Integrated Discovery programs focused on cerebral palsy, depression, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders now bring together over 200 core researchers and clinicians, 35 institutions, 40 companies, and 18 patient advocacy groups from across Ontario. Continue reading “Updates from our Research Programs”

Training for New Kinds of Neuro-Talent

Ontario is recognized as a world leader in brain research but the province’s healthcare system and economy have room to benefit from stronger efforts in science innovation.  An asset that is of critical value but is often overlooked is access to the right kinds of people—in this case, people that have the skillset to move scientific ideas into the marketplace. Continue reading “Training for New Kinds of Neuro-Talent”

Joining Global Discussions on Data Sharing

In OBI’s goal to improve brain health, research data are one of the basic building blocks.  Data are assets that hold value because they can be shared, analysed, and reused in different ways to support new discoveries and reduce the loss of resources. One opportunity to reuse data and uncover new insights is the linking of routinely collected population and healthcare data, or ‘broad’ data, with ‘deep’ research data (e.g., imaging, genetics, etc.).  To harness data’s full potential, OBI has developed several initiatives including an informatics platform, an international workshop, and internships to address linking and sharing data in new ways. Continue reading “Joining Global Discussions on Data Sharing”