Healing the body, healing the brain: Nutrition and exercise treatments for childhood neurodevelopmental disorders

In the absence of a clear set of recommendations from doctors for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as fetal alcohol, cerebral palsy, and autism spectrum disorders, many parents and children affected by NDDs turn to unproven diet- and exercise-based treatments. While some research suggests that such interventions can boost brain functioning, very few studies of these programs look at their effectiveness for NDDs.

Retrospective molecular subtyping of pediatric medulloblastomas and the evaluation of BTIC gene signature in tumors with poor prognosis

Medulloblastoma is the most common brain tumor in children. It is treated with a combination of surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation. Radiation to a child’s brain can have harmful side effects that may have implications in later development. We intend to use molecular gene expression to classify archived tumors into 4 subgroups with associated low and high risk. Along with this, we will analyze the expression of genes associated with a highly resistant subpopulation of cells called brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs).

Analysis of the potential for carbon offsets in North American tribal lands

The research objectives for this proposed Mitacs project are to identify the forested Tribal Lands in the US that hold the most promise for participating in the developing regional US and Canadian offset markets. The partner organization is Offsetters Clean Technology, a BC based company with expertise in carbon management and advisory services in Canada. This project will ultimately result in the creation of a new line of business for the company focused on First Nations and tribes outside of British Columbia.

Targeting the RSK axis to eliminate medulloblastoma

Brain cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in children. Current treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, which either prolongs the child’s life for only two years or leaves them with negative side effects such as slowed development. Thus, there is a pressing need for new therapeutics.

Medical geneticists’ discussion of psychiatric risks during diagnosis of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22qDS) affects 1/4,000 newborns. People with this condition can have various medical problems, and approximately 30% develop psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. A recent study explored parents’ experience of receiving a diagnosis of 22qDS for their child. Families identified an unmet need for information from their healthcare providers about the psychiatric features of 22qDS, and indicated that risk for psychiatric illness was a major source of anxiety for them, compared to the other features of the syndrome.

Multivariate analysis of neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation data to assess functional and structural reorganization in the brain following stroke

The brain is a dynamically evolving structure. Rehabilitation interventions take advantage of its malleable properties that persist even after an injury from stroke. Various interventions are used in clinical practice at an attempt to restore normal activity in the brain. Non-invasive brain stimulation is a novel technique that may act as a facilitator of brain recovery. Due to the complexity of mechanisms that occur within the brain, multiple measures of neurological function are needed to capture the benefits that non-invasive brain stimulation may have on individuals with stroke.

A Longitudinal Comparison of Aripiprazole Vs. Higher Metabolic Risk Antipsychotic Drugs on Adiposity using MRI

Antipsychotic medication is associated with a constellation of metabolic abnormalities, including weight gain, an imbalance between glucose and insulin actions, and higher than normal lipid content. In particular, adolescent psychiatric patients are at increased risk for Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular disease when undergoing therapeutic treatment. Current analysis indicates that antipsychotic drugs have differing effects on body weight gain and fat content.