Moving to Breathe, Breathing to Move: An interdisciplinary study on the benefits of choral and dance exercise for people with neuromuscular conditions

In this collaborative project with Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC), we will design and run choir singing and dancing programs for people with neuromuscular conditions, in order to study whether it improves their quality of life and their ability to breathe. Both singing and dancing have been shown to have significant medical and quality of life benefits for people with other kinds of disabilities, but little research has been done with those who have neuromuscular conditions. This will also be the first study to include participants who rely on ventilation technology to breathe.

Use of temporary, transvenous phrenic nerve pacer for diaphragm activation to mitigate lung and neurological injury in critically ill patients

A breathing machine (ventilator) is the foundation of the intensive care unit and has saved many lives but it is associated with lung injury. Collapse of parts of the lungs (atelectasis) is common in these patients due pressures on the lungs from lying flat for long periods of time. Alveoli are the small sacks in the lung where gas exchange occurs. During lung collapse, some of the alveoli close during part or all of the respiratory cycle. This opening and closing of the alveoli causes lung injury and alveoli that remain open can become over distended and injured.

Evaluation of Measures to Control and Prevent Clostridium difficile Infection

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has become the leading cause of hospital acquired nosocomial diarrhea worldwide. The prolonged hospital stays associated with CDI has enormous impact on the healthcare systems in terms of costs and patient outcomes. While treatment of CDI is an important area for ongoing research, prevention efforts will need to be enhanced to interrupt CDI transmission.

Assessing the Utility of a Commercial Mobile EEG in Detecting Age-Related Differences in the Brain

The world’s population is aging and thus, healthy cognitive aging a major healthcare priority and goal. Yet, a better understanding of how the brain changes with normal aging versus pathology is required. Recent advancements in wearable technologies may allow the assessment of brain function with greater ease, accessibility, and at a lower cost, as compared with traditional neuroimaging techniques. Specifically, there is now a commercially available mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) device that has the potential to provide information on brain functional connectivity.

Using multivariate deep-learning algorithms for automatic quality control of high-resolution MRI - Year two

NeuroRx is an imaging contract research organization (CRO) specialized in the central nervous system (CNS) that utilizes state-of-the-art digital image processing techniques to produce accurate and precise outcome measures for clinical trials of drugs in development. Prior to analysis, all scans must pass Quality Control (QC). The goal of this project will be to incorporate advanced computer algorithms to automatically classify the quality of high-resolution structural brain Magnetic Resonance Images. The advanced computer algorithms will include deep learning algorithms.

Development & Pilot Evaluation of an Online Peer Support Program for Family Caregivers of Ventilator-Assisted Individuals Living in the Community - Year two

Although ventilator-assisted individuals (VAIs) prefer to live and die at home, the family members who care for them often experience stress and poor health. Peer support can mitigate health declines by decreasing caregivers’ isolation and increasing their sense of control. However, no peer support programs exist for this caregiving population. Online support can especially overcome geographic and time limitations that caregivers face. The proposed research aims to develop and conduct a pilot RCT evaluation of an online peer support program for VAI caregivers.

Physiological assessment of cochlear and auditory nerve integrity in children suspected of auditory processing disorder - Year two

Nearly 2 % of school-aged children face difficulty in understanding speech in the presence of background noise. These children are often referred to audiology clinics for a central auditory processing (CAP) assessment. The purpose of the referral is to rule out an auditory processing disorder (APD). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends to include electrophysiological measures to assess the neural integrity in children sAPD. However, less than 15 % of audiologist include the electrophysiological measure in their battery of assessment.

The additive effects of foam rolling and Biofreeze on range of motion, pain threshold and submaximal force production task to failure

Research has shown that rolling muscles can increase flexibility without hindering performance as well as to heighten pressure pain threshold. It was also shown that topically applied gels, which contain menthol, result in a cooling sensation and reduce the sensation of pain. While both modalities are suggested to influence pain perception through different pathways, their interactive effects have never been examined.

Quality Assessment and Enhancement of Retinal Images

Babies who are born prematurely are at risk of developing a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity (RoP), which if left untreated, can lead to permanent blindness. RoP causes characteristic changes in the retinal vasculature,
which can be seen when looking into the eye. Because the infants need to be monitored regularly for this condition, and certain traits need to be carefully identified, a special camera is used to take a picture of the retina. These pictures can then be studied for signs of RoP by an ophthalmologist.

Comparative effectiveness of prophylactic therapies for necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants: a network meta-analysis of randomized trials – Phase II

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common and serious intestinal disease among premature infants. It happens when tissue in the small or large intestine is injured or begins to die off. This causes the intestine to become inflamed or, in rare cases, develop perforation. It is associated with significant mortality and morbidity in preterm neonates. Current literature on prevention of NEC lacks direct and indirect comparisons of available therapies. Using state-of-art methods (e.g.