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Building on Existing Brain Research Projects in Ontario

Backgrounder

Building on Existing Brain Research Projects in Ontario

Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science

Ontario's investment of $56 million is supporting world-class brain research underway in the province, including:

The Childhood Cerebral Palsy Integrated Neuroscience Discovery Network (CP-NET)

Ontario Renewal Funding: $5 million over five years
Total value: $7.5 million

Initiative Involves
: 39 clinicians and researchers, 11 clinical sites, 11 industrial partners, three patient advocacy groups and 1,000 patients.

Noteworthy Advancement:
Researchers are exploring the potential commercialization of a device that could make life easier for patients with mobility challenges, including children with cerebral palsy.

In 2013, Dr. Aliasgar Morbi participated in OBI's Experiential Education Initiative as an entrepreneur. He created a company called GaitTronics and developed a prototype robot to help patients with mobility issues.

The Ontario Brain Institute connected Morbi with CP-NET -- a discovery network that is focused on cerebral palsy. They are now testing the equipment in a clinical trial and using research sites across the province.

The Canadian Biomarkers Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND)

New Ontario Funding: $12 million over five years
Total value: $18 million

Initiative Involves
: 41 clinicians and researchers, five Ontario clinical sites, four industrial partners, two patient advocacy groups and 700 patients.

Noteworthy Advancement:
CAN-BIND is working on identifying biomarkers to take the guesswork out of treatment for depression, by finding clear and objective ways of matching the right treatment to the right patient faster.

The network has partnered with international pharmaceutical company, Lundbeck, which has donated 3,000 clinical trial samples from its biobanks to the CAN-BIND group for analysis. This partnership is helping researchers with their search for molecular biomarkers, and the genomics analysis of the patient samples is well underway.

The Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI)

New Ontario Funding: $19 million over five years
Total value: $28.5 million

Initiative Involves
: 48 clinicians and researchers, 11 clinical sites, nine industrial partners, four patient advocacy groups and 600 patients.

Noteworthy Advancement:
A large scale study is making significant strides in its province-wide effort to break down the silos in neurodegenerative disorder research.

Following roughly a year of detailed planning, a significant study is now underway across 12 Ontario sites, covering five neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

To ensure the study achieves patient-focused outcomes, the ONDRI Patient Advisory Committee has brought together multiple patient groups to promote knowledge exchange both within the dementia community and the public.

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