For millions of Canadians impacted by brain disorders, answers aren’t coming fast enough. That’s why Brain Canada believes it is imperative to bring researchers together to share their knowledge.
“What we want is the right answer, not the first answer,” says Dr. Alan Evans, scientific director of the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP). CONP is a pan-Canadian project that links many of the country’s leading brain scientists so that they can share data about complex illnesses lacking understanding and effective treatments – disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression. This collaborative approach is well aligned with the younger generation of researchers who have been trained to work across disciplines.
By getting more eyes and minds on the data, we accelerate cures.
“Instead of having one laboratory in one city collecting data and publishing one or two studies, we believe the answer is to make data available online,” says Dr. Evans, “By getting more eyes and minds on the data, we accelerate cures.”
Large-scale digital databases that store behavioral, brain imaging and genetic information for each patient – and layer it with similar data from millions of other patients – provide clues about the complex interactions and connections between the mind, the brain and the body.
“Once we better understand these connections, we can develop more effective therapeutic interventions,” Dr. Evans says. Bringing large and potentially transformative projects of this kind to fruition is part of Brain Canada’s plan to make the best science and find the right answers.