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”

Autism Across the Lifespan

What do you see when you think of autism? Up until recently, I would picture early intervention with children. But what happens once those children grow up? While early intervention and services for children are important, the needs of adults living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gone somewhat unnoticed. Children with ASD grow up to be adults with ASD, and continue to have needs that require supports and services.
Continue reading “Autism Across the Lifespan”

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”

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”

Meeting Purple Day with Integrated Efforts

By: Tamer Ismail, OBI Intern, Industry Relations

March 26th marks international Purple Day—a day to promote epilepsy awareness. This neurological disorder, characterized by erratic bursts of electrical activity, or seizures, affects many of us—about 80,000 people in Ontario alone which is why I think it’s critical that epilepsy awareness and support live up to the challenge. Continue reading “Meeting Purple Day with Integrated Efforts”

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Influential Discoveries of 2014

By Bryan Jenkins, OBI Intern, Research Programs 

At the end of 2014, many of us – with the help of certain social media websites – were reflecting upon the past year of our lives. It was a big year for neuroscience and brain health, following from our proclaimed ‘Year of the Brain’. In this post for Alzheimer’s Awareness month we will reflect upon some of the most influential discoveries of 2014 related to Alzheimer’s research, and from this assess the current and future state of this ever-progressing field. If you’re interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease, tune in to the Facebook chat we are hosting with the Ontario Science Centre from 12:00-1:00 pm on January 20, 2015. Continue reading “Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Influential Discoveries of 2014”