Amyotophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating and fatal neurodegenerative condition that includes symptoms such as paralysis and loss of the ability to walk, talk, eat, and breathe. Although there is no cure for ALS, patients suffering from the disease may find hope in a recent discovery by researchers at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) about how it spreads within the body that could lead to revolutionary new immunotherapies.
Young researchers from the National Core for Neuroethics at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health talked to Science Magazine about challenging ethical questions facing young investigators. Shelly Benjaminy, Karen Jacob, Cody Lo and Nina Di Pietro discussed issues ranging from patient understanding of new medical technologies to the use of drugs to enhance brain performance. Their interviews can be found in the July issue of Science Magazine.
Although most people take for granted their brain’s ability to be learning almost constantly, a team of researchers has discovered the complex molecular cascade of events that happens at brain synapses – across which information from one neuron flows to another – when we learn and remember.
University of British Columbia researchers have discovered that so-called “sticky synapses” in the brain can impair new learning by excessively hard-wiring old memories and inhibiting our ability to adapt to our changing environment.
The University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Brian MacVicar and Dr. Jon Stoessl as Co-Directors of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. They will serve alongside Dr. Max Cynader until June 30, 2014, when Dr. Cynader will leave his position as Director of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) and the Brain Research Centre.
The human brain appears to be no different than rest of the body when it comes to reaping the benefits of regular exercise. Results from recent Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute studies led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience, and researcher at Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and Centre for Hip Health, consistently present a fairly simple notion: exercise does the brain a whole lot of good.
Findings from a recently published Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) study suggest that older adults who are experiencing multiple falls, even non-injurious ones, should report them to health care professionals as multiple falls may indicate subtle brain changes associated with cognitive decline.
Canada’s largest integrated brain centre officially opens today, uniting research and patient care to change the way brain disorders are treated and studied.
The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH), a partnership between the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health, unites under one roof research and clinical expertise in neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology in order to accelerate discovery and translate new knowledge into better treatment and prevention strategies.