Holland Bloorview at the Centre Of World-Leading Brain Research

March 07, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital hosted Don Valley West MPP, the honourable Kathleen Wynne, and the honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, as they joined with the Ontario Brain Institute on March 5 to announce funding for three brain research projects in Ontario. Two of the three research projects receiving funding will be led by Holland Bloorview scientists.Full video of the event.

Holland Bloorview's Autism Research Centre scientist, Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, heads one of the projects known as the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network (POND). This project brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, engineers, and community stakeholders to perform biomedical research studies aimed at understanding autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

Neurorehabilitation expert, Holland Bloorview's Dr. Darcy Fehlings, leads a second project called the Childhood Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy Integrated Neuroscience Discovery Network "CP-NET". "CP-Net" will connect kids with hemiplegic CP and their families to world-renowned researchers from across Ontario and across scientific disciplines - to improve understanding of CP and to accelerate the development of new treatment.

A new technology being explored as part of Dr. Fehlings' "CP Net" project is the use of video gaming systems to help strengthen the weaker (hemiplegic) limbs in children with Cerebral Palsy. 11 year-old Holland Bloorview client, Megan, has a hemiplegic hand. She says that video gaming makes therapy much more fun!

"As Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital, and the provincial hub for children with neurological disorders, such as CP, autism and brain injury, today's announcement is very close to our hearts and imaginations," says Sheila Jarvis, President and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Funding was also announced for the Epilepsy Discovery Project, led by researchers at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. This is a comprehensive study that will conduct research and work with companies and patient groups to improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy through innovative therapies.

"Ontario is at the cutting-edge of brain research that will help improve the quality of life for Ontarians, while creating high-skilled jobs. The Ontario Brain Institute is helping us find better therapies for children and youth with brain disorders that will help them to achieve their full potential," says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation.

About Holland Bloorview
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation teaching hospital. Our vision is to create a world of possibility for kids with disabilities

Holland Bloorview is a world-class teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We train future health-care specialists in the field of childhood disability. The Bloorview Research Institute is located onsite, allowing us to integrate cutting-edge research and teaching with frontline care to improve children's quality of life.

About the Ontario Brain Institute
In 2010, the Government of Ontario created the Ontario Brain Institute as an independent, not-for-profit corporation. Its goal is to bring together the province's top brain researchers and business experts who can turn their discoveries into products and services.

The institute's first three research projects aim to discover new therapies and technologies that will significantly improve the quality of life for affected children and adults and their families - in Ontario and around the world.