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Spice up your holidays with brain-healthy seasonings

Many of the flavorings that add a special touch to our favorite holiday foods confer the gift of brain health at the same time. Researchers have discovered that cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices that we mix into baked goods and savory dishes contain nutrients that sharpen memory, reduce stress, or improve sleep, among other benefits.

2017-11-10T14:42:42+00:00 December 17th, 2016|

What does an Accessible Canada mean to you?

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities announced the launch of a national consultation process to inform the development of planned legislation that will transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.

2017-11-09T16:06:51+00:00 July 20th, 2016|

Courage to Come Back: Christy Campbell

Christy Campbell was in the prime of her life when a stroke took away most of her movement and her voice. Now, she is fighting back and helping others. Sonia Deol reports.

2017-06-01T21:11:30+00:00 May 10th, 2016|

After a brain injury, crash survivor thrives by helping others through art

Coming back from a traumatic brain injury is not easy, but one Montreal woman not only healed, but is now helping others through art. Artist, teacher and mentor Sonja Boodajee has had to overcome incredible odds just to be able to stand.

“It was really hard at the beginning. I really hated myself,” she said.

Sonja and a friend were involved in a high-speed, head-on collision in Mexico 21 years ago. Like the pottery they’d just bought, her body was smashed. “She was like a broken little bird and I just remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, how are we going to put her back together?’” said rehabilitation specialist Rosalba Guerrera.

“I was so tired, I took the fetal position, and all I know […]

2017-11-10T15:19:46+00:00 April 12th, 2016|

Hitting concussion research, prevention and management in B.C. head on

Concussions are the big monster that hangs around any kind of contact sport, and as the number of sports-related head trauma cases ticks up across North America, so does concussion research, prevention, and management. In fact it’s becoming a growing industry.

In B.C., research is being done to examine the long- and short-term impact of concussions at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver General Hospital and through private companies.

Research has shown the long-term impact of concussions and their relationship to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma. Symptoms of CTE can include memory loss, aggression, confusion, depression, and suicidal tendencies, which can occur years or decades after […]

2017-06-02T16:47:55+00:00 February 5th, 2016|

Vancouver scientist’s brain discovery named a top story of 2015

Dr. Robert Tarzwell, a North Vancouver scientist out of Lions Gate Hospital, is among a team of scholars who have made Discover Magazine‘s top 100 stories of 2015 list, coming in at number 19.

Dr. Tarzwell was one of the scientists led by Dr. Daniel Amen who published a study in July that discovered how a medical imaging test could tell the difference in the brain between post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.

“Over a million soldiers have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of the men and women who have returned from combat, more than 100,000 have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Over 300,000 more have been told they have a […]

2017-11-10T14:43:45+00:00 January 18th, 2016|

Toronto hospital becomes world’s first to treat brain tumour with non-invasive procedure

TORONTO – Scientists at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital have taken the next bold step in chemotherapy by developing a non-invasive procedure to treat brain tumours.

The hospital said it made history last week by using a “focused ultrasound” to breach the blood-barrier in the brain to treat patients.

“The blood-brain barrier (BBB) has been a persistent obstacle to delivering valuable therapies to treat disease such as tumours,” says Dr. Todd Mainprize, principal investigator of the study and neurosurgeon in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in a media release.

“We are encouraged that we were able to temporarily open this barrier in a patient to deliver chemotherapy directly to the brain tumour.”

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2017-11-10T14:44:21+00:00 January 13th, 2016|

Canadian Sport Concussion Project educates CFLers on brain traumas

HAMILTON—Chris Walby, a Canadian Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman for 16 years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and former football broadcaster, recalls once finding himself in the wrong huddle after taking a big hit.

“I couldn’t see where I was,” Walby recalled last in Hamilton at the Angelo Mosca fundraising event for Alzheimer’s, held on Aug. 26.

“I was blacked out. The next thing I knew I was standing in Hamilton’s huddle. Mike Campbell, the defensive tackle, kicked me in the ass and said, ‘Hey fat boy, you’re in the wrong huddle, get over there.’ It was crazy.”

Years ago, people would simply laugh at such situations. Today, however, much more is known about brain injuries.

Sport concussions have been linked to chronic […]

2017-11-10T14:44:54+00:00 September 8th, 2015|

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago.

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

These developments seem to be linked to some extent, according to a growing body of research. Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces […]

2017-11-10T14:45:09+00:00 August 26th, 2015|

How Your Brain Heals Itself

 A South African man with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that often leaves its sufferers immobile, walks his symptoms into submission. A Broadway singer, silenced for 30 years by multiple sclerosis, recovers his voice. And in California, a psychiatrist and pain specialist rids himself of 13 years of chronic pain within a year, without drugs or surgery, through his brain’s own efforts. Those individuals, and thousands like them, achieved those results, writes Norman Doidge, a Toronto psychiatrist and author of The Brain’s Way of Healing, precisely because the human brain is a generalist par excellence. The prevailing 20th-century view was that it was too specialized for its own good—a fixed machine made up of discrete parts that […]

2017-11-10T14:45:48+00:00 May 19th, 2015|

Behind the Mask: Revealing the Trauma of War

 Brain injuries caused by blast events change soldiers in ways many can’t articulate. Some use art therapy, creating painted masks to express how they feel.

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A JOKE,” recalled Staff Sgt. Perry Hopman, who served as a flight medic in Iraq. “I wanted no part of it because, number one, I’m a man, and I don’t like holding a dainty little paintbrush. Number two, I’m not an artist. And number three, I’m not in kindergarten. Well, I was ignorant, and I was wrong, because it’s great. I think this is what started me kind of opening up and talking about stuff and actually trying to get better.”

Hopman is one of many service members guided by […]

2017-11-10T14:45:55+00:00 May 19th, 2015|

Province announces $3 million in funding for British Columbians with brain injuries

 Minister of Health Terry Lake has announced $3 million in funding over three years to The Brain Injury Alliance to support those with brain injuries.

“This investment will touch a lot of lives” said John Simpson, from the Brain Injury Alliance. “We are grateful to the province of BC for supporting our work, and helping service providers across the province to continue making a difference in their communities.”

The Alliance will distribute the funding to organizations in two stages. In the first stage, $10,000 will be issued to each of the province’s 16 community-based, non-profit brain-injury service providers to help with operational costs.

“Brain injury has the ability to shatter lives,” said Terry Lake. “Left untreated, it can lead […]

2017-11-10T14:47:26+00:00 May 15th, 2015|

Province provides support to British Columbians living with brain injuries

VICTORIA – A brain injury can happen in a moment and change a life forever.

Today, Minister of Health Terry Lake announced $3 million in funding over three years to the Brain Injury Alliance to support those with brain injuries.

“Brain injury has the ability to shatter lives,” said Lake. “Left untreated, it can lead to issues that affect the whole community, which is why the funding provided to the Brain Injury Alliance is so important to make sure help goes to those who need it.”

The Brain Injury Alliance is a registered B.C. non-profit society that supports brain-injury service providers throughout B.C. The alliance will distribute the funding to organizations in the province that run programs and services to help reduce the […]

2017-11-10T14:47:47+00:00 May 15th, 2015|

UBC Health Mentors Program

 UBC Health Mentors Program

You can’t always stop the rain, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was an umbrella for everyone?

Vancouver, BC   May 4, 2015 As a survivor of an acquired brain injury, I have enjoyed being a member of the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Program over the past school year. The Program invites health mentors (usually survivors or caregivers) to team up with four students chosen from ten different health professional programs (audiology, dentistry, dietetics, genetic counseling, kinesiology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work and speech-language pathology). On Wednesday, April 22nd 2015 the group held its annual Health Mentors Program Symposium in the Life Sciences Centre on the […]

2017-11-10T14:48:15+00:00 May 7th, 2015|

Medical student creates art classes for people living with brain injuries

 New idea tackles depression and social isolation while creating useable art work

Second-year medical student Maksim Parfyonov has always had a keen interest in neuroscience. And art. When he was offered the chance to work with CONNECT as part of his Southern Medical Program studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus, it seemed like the perfect fit.

Parfyonov began his work with CONNECT, a residential rehabilitation program for people with acquired brain injury, in September as part of the MD curriculum’s Doctor, Patient, and Society course.

The invaluable learning opportunity has turned into weekly art lessons for CONNECT residents that will culminate in a public art show in Lake Country next month.

“I visited a weekly support group run by a psychologist, where […]

2017-11-10T14:49:51+00:00 April 29th, 2015|

70 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster, and Stay Asleep Longer.

 We all sleep and we all dream. Some nights it is easier to fall asleep. Other nights it’s a battle. After having some trouble with sleeping these past couple of weeks. I decided to do some research. Since a lot of people wear sweat shorts to bed I thought, why not share this information with you? Hoping that you will find it as useful as I have. After doing all of my research I came up with 70 different ways to help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Hopefully this info will having you sleeping like a champ. If you don’t have any trouble sleeping then, by all means don’t change a thing, however if […]

2017-11-10T14:49:47+00:00 April 11th, 2015|

Fred UnLEEshed: Feb. 13, 2015

 BRAIN HEALTH: Margaret Trudeau headlined the B.C. Brain Injury Association’s annual Cocktail Fundraising Gala. Torrential rain did not deter guests who filed into the Winsor Gallery to hear from the celebrated Canadian and mental health advocate. The 67-year-old recounted her struggle with bipolar disorder, its challenges and her journey to get help. Joining Trudeau was fellow speaker Ellie Ennas, who shared her own story of recovering from a brain injury sustained in a car accident that almost killed her. The evening of inspiration, chaired by Liz Baron and Susanne Sherwood, brought together health professionals, advocates, educators and survivors focused on raising $40,000 to support the province’s brain injury community.

Read More>>

2017-11-10T14:50:50+00:00 February 19th, 2015|

Time to Get Honest About Being Disabled

 Coming to grips with having a disability has taken me many years. Unlike many who have had challenges from the start, the first forty-nine years of my life were spend living without a disability. In one respect, this has made accepting my new life more difficult. I have something to compare it to.

A few weeks ago, I shared with my wife Sarah that I am getting tired of pretending. I often go to superhuman lengths to “appear” uninjured, struggling to speak, using precious and limited energy to make sure that I walk a straight line when vertigo strikes, working hard to do all I can to show the world that I am as uninjured as I look.

Trying […]

2017-11-10T14:51:20+00:00 January 28th, 2015|

Margaret Trudeau to Inspire as Headline Speaker at BCBIA February Gala

 Margaret Trudeau to Inspire as Headline Speaker at BCBIA February Gala

Jan. 15, 2015 – Vancouver – Margaret Trudeau, mental health advocate, famed Canadian speaker and former wife of  Pierre Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, says she has a vested interest in supporting the British Columbia Brain Injury Association’s Annual Fundraising Cocktail Gala, on February 5th.

“I will be sharing personal anecdotal stories to weave my message, which is about finding the courage to face your diagnosis or injury – whatever it may be – and going through the process of acceptance to find new ways of being,” says Trudeau.

Tickets are now selling for the Gala, which organizer Susanne Sherwood says will raise funds and awareness for the […]

2017-11-10T14:51:58+00:00 January 28th, 2015|

Stem Cell Therapy Study may help victims of stroke

 Stem cell treatment could help stroke victims survive serious brain damage, the first human trial of its kind has suggested.

The pilot study, conducted by doctors at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and scientists at Imperial College London, saw five stroke victims injected with stem cells directly into their damaged brain within seven days of a stroke.

The stem cells were taken from the patients’ own bone marrow.

The scientists said it showed “promising results”, with all the patients showing improvements in disability within six months – something that had only previously been shown in animals.

Four out of five patients had the most severe type of stroke, which only four per cent of people are expected to survive and lead […]

2017-11-10T14:52:17+00:00 August 11th, 2014|
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