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News on Brain Canada-funded researchers

July 09, 2021

Brain Canada on An Hour to Give

Brain Canada representatives share the incredible research that is being done in the areas of brain disease, injuries and mental health.

June 15, 2021

Building back our mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a renewed focus on our collective mental health. For more than a year now, Canadians have been faced with increased isolation, heightened uncertainty and overwhelming feelings of emotional and mental exhaustion. Lockdowns are causing disruptions of services and strained resources for all Canadians, and our most vulnerable communities are being disproportionately affected.

May 14, 2021

Bringing Canada to the forefront of scientific innovation

Buzzing with excitement and filled with ground-breaking ideas, the next generation of brain scientists are eager to push the envelope and take us deeper into the unknown. From exploring the effects of cannabis in pregnancy, to turning skin cells into brain cells, Canada’s early-career researchers are ready to revolutionize the field of neuroscience. But there is often one common element preventing  them from using their talent to bring Canada to the forefront of innovation – funding.

March 10, 2021

Stress: It’s all in your head, or is it?

When we think about mental health, we often think of the brain in our heads. But what about what some refer to as our second brain – the gut? Could changes to the trillions of microorganisms in the gut affect our emotions? And could studying the gut lead to new treatments for depression?

January 29, 2021

U of A researchers discover new way to identify severity and track progression of ALS

University of Alberta researchers have discovered a new method to identify the severity of Lou Gehrig’s disease in patients and track its progression. The U of A team, led by Sanjay Kalra, a professor in the Division of Neurology, has made progress toward an imaging biomarker for white-matter degeneration in the brains of ALS patients, which they hope will lead to earlier diagnosis and potential new therapeutics.

January 28, 2021

Research study leads to dramatic quality of life improvement for man with spinal cord injury

Dr. Richi Gill, MD, is back at work, able to enjoy time with his family in the evening and get a good night’s sleep, thanks to research. Three years ago, Gill broke his neck in a boogie board accident while on vacation with his young family. Getting mobile again with the use of a wheelchair is the first thing, Gill says, most people notice. However, for those with a spinal cord injury (SCI), what is happening inside the body also severely affects their quality of life.

January 05, 2021

Researchers detect early signs of autism in at-risk infants

Medical researchers reliably predicted autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a large sample of at-risk children by identifying and tracking early behavioural signs at 12 months of age, according to study findings published Dec. 25 in Child Development.

December 04, 2020

What makes a healthy brain?

Ravi Rungta, a young assistant professor of dentistry at UdeM, is recognized by the Brain Canada Foundation as one of the country's top 20 leaders in brain research.

December 04, 2020

A novel approach to Parkinson’s disease

UdeM neurobiologist Janelle Drouin-Ouellet is reprogramming neuronal cells from skin samples of elderly Parkinson’s patients to see how the cells change over time – and discover new treatments.

November 12, 2020

Six early-career researchers receive leadership grants

Six McGill University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences researchers — Boris Bernhardt, Mark Brandon, Yasser Iturria-Medina, Jean-Francois Poulin, Jo Anne Stratton and Masha Prager-Khoutorsky — have received grants to support their work in the early-career stage, after being chosen from 150 talented applicants.

June 30, 2020

Sex bias in pain research

Females process pain differently, but search for pain medication still based on hypotheses drawn from work in males It is increasingly clear that male and female humans and rodents process pain in different ways. Despite this fact, according to a review paper from McGill University published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, most pain research remains overwhelmingly based on the study of male rodents, continuing to test hypotheses derived from earlier experiments on males. Jeffrey Mogil was the principal investigator on a 2014 Brain Canada Team Grant that studied sex differences in pain.

June 30, 2020

Even without concussion, athletes in contact sports may have brain changes

Female college rugby players may have subtle brain changes even if they haven't had a recent concussion, according to a new study published in the June 17, 2020, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study was supported through a 2015 Brain Canada Platform Support Grant, led by Ravi Menon.

April 03, 2020

Artificial intelligence for very young brains

Canadian scientists have developed an innovative new technique that uses artificial intelligence to better define the different sections of the brain in newborns during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam. The study was supported by Brain Canada through a 2014 Platform Support Grant, led by Dr. Gregory A. Lodygensky.

February 25, 2020

Research helping teens with bipolar disorder

Dr. Benjamin Goldstein, recipient of a Brain Canada Improving Health Outcomes Team Grant, discusses his research on aerobic exercise as a treatment for teens with bipolar disorder as part of Bell Let's Talk Day.

February 25, 2020

Des cerveaux pour mieux comprendre la dépression et le suicide

La Banque de cerveaux Douglas-Bell Canada, à Montréal, est l'une des plus grandes banques du genre au monde. À l'occasion de ses 40 ans, le Dr Naguib Mechawar, directeur de la banque et professeur au Département de psychiatrie de l'Université McGill, explique comment quelque 3000 cerveaux sont conservés et comment ils contribuent aux recherches sur la dépression, le suicide et l'alzheimer. La banque de cerveaux Douglas-Bell Canada a été soutenue par une subvention de soutien aux plateformes.

February 25, 2020

Immune response in brain, spinal cord could offer clues to treating neurological diseases

U of A neuroscientist Jason Plemel was part of a team of Canadian researchers who discovered that immune cells in the brain and spinal cord behave differently from blood immune cells in their response to nerve damage. Dr. Plemel received a 2018 Azrieli Foundation-Brain Canada Early-Career Capacity Building Grant to further study the role of microglia in a progressive MS model.

February 20, 2020

Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes may be communicable

A new paper by UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Dr. Brett Finlay and a team of fellows from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) proposes that non-communicable diseases may be transmitted between people through the microbiome. Brett Finlay is the Co Director of the CIFAR Humans & the Microbiome program, supported by Brain Canada.

January 29, 2020

AI-analyzed blood test can predict the progression of neurodegenerative disease

New technique could be used to choose best therapies for patients and measure their effectiveness. Evaluating the effectiveness of therapies for neurodegenerative diseases is often difficult because each patient’s progression is different. The research was supported through a 2015 Platform Support Grant for the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre.

January 28, 2020

Behavioural research gets boost with first open-access database

Neuroscience researchers at Western University have developed the first open-access repository for raw data from mouse cognitive testing. Called MouseBytes, the database gives researchers a platform to share rodent cognition data using touchscreen cognitive testing with labs around the world. The work was supported through a 2012 MIRI Team Grant and the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP).

December 17, 2019

The Life Scientific, Adrian Owen

Adrian Owen tells Jim Al-Khalili about his search for awareness in brain-injured patients. Adrian Owen is the co-Director of CIFAR's Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness, which receives support from Brain Canada.