A Decade Older, A Decade Wiser

Ten years ago, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) was established with a goal of improving brain health for the 1 in 3 Ontarians directly impacted by brain disorders. As we look back, we’re certain that our formula for collaborative discovery and innovation works and that we are on course to advance brain health. But along the way we’ve learned a lot by testing assumptions, collecting feedback from our stakeholders, and gathering data that will help us chart the course for the next phase. While there are many insights we could share, a few stand out which will help us focus our activities through this funding cycle and the next. And they all revolve around how we work with people, which is when you think about it makes sense for an organization that is focused on building relationships and supporting collaborations.

We have learnt to appreciate that showing direct impact of work on the people and the community is as important as strong performance metrics. We’ve seen that patient engagement improves the quality of research and makes its outputs more meaningful. And lastly, we must listen to the needs of our stakeholders and build systems to help them succeed. Continue reading “A Decade Older, A Decade Wiser”

How to Transform a Promising Idea from the Lab to Life

OBI is working towards creating an inclusive society for neurodiverse people that accommodates a vast range of needs. In the last decade alone, we have seen plenty of promising tech coming out of Ontario’s neurotech cluster. Entrepreneurs and researchers are coming up with creative solutions to directly address barriers that exist for people with brain disorders in becoming active members of society.

Put simply, these advancements in neurotechnology are the result of us getting better at taking a great idea developed in the lab and translating it into a tangible tool that can help people lead fuller lives. Continue reading “How to Transform a Promising Idea from the Lab to Life”

Sleep and its impact on Brain Health

Everyone needs sleep, but its biological purpose remains a mystery. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance.

Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake. And we know for certain that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.

Sleep has the power to define the course of our day, so why not learn to sleep better? Continue reading “Sleep and its impact on Brain Health”