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Amyloid plaques in the brain.
Steering an enzyme’s “scissors” shows potential for stopping Alzheimer’s disease Jul 19, 2017

The old real estate adage about “location, location, location” might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.

Scientists at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health have identified a couple of crucial steps in the formation a protein called amyloid beta, which accumulates in clumps, or “plaques,” in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Those discoveries inspired efforts at disrupting the biochemical carving of amyloid beta’s precursor protein into its final, toxic shape.

Business man faced with decision.
Delineating different decision duties for dopamine in the frontal lobes Jul 6, 2017

“Sometimes you have these big ideas, and then five years pass and it turns out your idea was almost exactly right,” says Dr. Stan Floresco, researcher with UBC’s Department of Psychology and Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

Inaugural APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health Conference Draws Global Partners to Vancouver Jun 22, 2017

Delegates from industry and economic and academic institutions around the world will meet in Vancouver next week for the inaugural conference sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Digital Hub for Mental Health. The conference – APEC Innovation in Action: Building the Digital Hub for Mental Health – will help Canadian researchers led by Dr.

Member news: June 2017 Jun 21, 2017

Links to stories about and by members of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health from June 2017.

What artificial intelligence can learn from the human brain
What AI can learn from the brain and vice-versa: An evening with Dr. Gary Marcus Jun 9, 2017

According to Dr. Gary Marcus, world-renowned cognitive neuroscientist, bestselling author, and Founder of Geometric Intelligence, recently acquired by Uber, the future of artificial intelligence (AI) is tied to innovations in neuroscience. As our understanding of the brain evolves over the next decade or more, so will our ability to digitally reverse-engineer the brain.

Dr. Nick Weilinger, MacVicar Lab, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
A swell of salt and water pushes Banting Scholar Dr. Nick Weilinger’s research Jun 8, 2017

“In theory, cerebral edema is a very simple issue; it’s the movement of water from the blood into the brain by osmosis, causing brain swelling. When water is drawn into nerve cells, the brain expands in the skull and that’s where you see severe complications from stroke or traumatic brain injury,” explains Dr. Nick Weilinger. “My work in the MacVicar Lab is focused on trying to understand the underlying causes of brain swelling. What are the mechanisms driving the edema?”

Dr. Brianne Kent, Nygaard Lab, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
For Banting Scholar Dr. Brianne Kent, research is all about rhythm Jun 6, 2017

“The great thing about working with both patients and pre-clinical models is that the research truly is translational,” says Dr. Brianne Kent. “Understanding patients with Alzheimer disease helps me to ask the right questions, better inform study design, and delve into the mechanisms of the disease in a holistic way.”

Common acne medication may be effective in treating early-onset MS May 31, 2017

A Canadian clinical trial led by researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM), shows that minocycline, a common acne medication, can slow the progress of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who have recently experienced their first symptoms. In addition to being an unexpected discovery – an acne drug benefitting a neurological disorder – the discovery is significant as it offers a safe and affordable treatment option for those with early onset MS.

Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose
Member news: May 2017 May 30, 2017

Links to stories about and by members of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health from May 2017.