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”

The F-Words: Finding the Ability in Disability

When Dr. Jan Willem Gorter and Dr. Peter Rosenbaum first published, “The F Words in Childhood Disability: I swear this is how we should think”, they did not anticipate that the report would be downloaded 20,000 times with 240 citations, shared around the world and translated into over 30 languages.

Their intent was to shift people’s perspective on disability – instead of focusing on what individuals can’t do, to focus instead on what they are able to accomplish. Built upon the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health, CanChild’s F-words (favourite words), have made an incredible impact across the globe.

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Team Science: the key to unlocking scientific advancement

You know the phrase, “two heads are better than one”? Sometimes, many heads are needed to solve a problem; this is especially true for the problems we face in brain health. For this reason, OBI believes in a collaborative model to solve complex problems by forming sustainable partnerships in research, commercialisation and care. In this case, many brains that think differently are better than one. Continue reading “Team Science: the key to unlocking scientific advancement”

Using A Patient-Centered Approach

 

Our health system requires that we ensure our research is relevant to the needs of patients and their families/caregivers, while empowering and supporting patients as partners.   Indeed research ought to be the standard-of-care with the goal of continuous improvement. Partnerships in this virtuous cycle of improvement will generate increased knowledge and tools for self-management of health and lead to better quality evidence that reaches the community faster.

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Towards a learning healthcare system through collaboration

There is no question that the looming grey tsunami of the ageing population in Ontario has significant implications with regards to healthcare services. A key concept which is emerging is the opportunity to foster and maintain brain health across the lifespan where optimal performance and quality is sustained. While much focus has been on the attempts to intervene once brain disease has taken hold, progress has been slow.

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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”

Brain-CODE Offers First Open Data Access

Ontario has one of the highest concentrations of brain researchers anywhere in the world. But researchers in this community largely worked in isolation and tended not to share ideas or data. The Ontario Brain Institute’s (OBI’s) Integrated Discovery Programs changed this and brought large groups of researchers together to better understand and treat brain disorders. This collaborative approach led to the idea of standardizing data and housing it in a shared space where it is curated, analyzed and shared. This ensures that the data are collected in the same manner, making it easier to share and accelerate discovery. Continue reading “Brain-CODE Offers First Open Data Access”