NW Week

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Accelerating research on brain illnesses is the goal of a new digital platform

Rapid advancement of brain illness research is the goal of a new digital platform.

Key Takeaways:

  • Researchers from all across the world now have access to new information to better study and treat adolescent brain illnesses.
  • All three of the Cosgrove children are among the 3,000 people who work with Ontario doctors and also have their information shared on the web portal.
  • Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, a child neurologist and associate director of the Bloorview Research Institute, has been involved in this field for approximately 20 years.

To better understand and treat juvenile neurological diseases, researchers worldwide are getting access to fresh data.

With the publication of fresh clinical data, the digital platform managed by the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) is playing a significant part in open science and brain health research.

According to Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, president, and scientific director of OBI, “Brain-CODE is much more than a data store; it’s an ecosystem or a way of doing business to standardize and share data.”

The digital network known as Brain-CODE contains information on more than 3,000 kids and teenagers affected by neurodevelopmental diseases like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and an autism spectrum disorder.

More eyes are brought to bear on an issue in the hopes of discovering a solution more quickly by granting access to scientists and academics from all over the world to the data.

In addition to using new ideas and methods of thinking, Mikkelsen stated, “We’re able to aggregate datasets to get the answers first and foremost more quickly.”

The data will be useful to anyone trying to comprehend more fully how Austin Cosgrove’s body and brain interact to shape his behavior as a youngster and adolescent. The gifted artist, age 17, suffers from anxiety, OCD, ADHD, and autism.

“It causes problems in my life that I wish didn’t, and I easily lose my temper. Cosgrove, whose two siblings are also autistic, said, “I get irritated, and I don’t understand why.

The 3,000 individuals who collaborate with Ontario doctors and have their information shared on the online portal include all three of the Cosgrove children.

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When asked about the medical evaluations being shared with researchers worldwide, Cosgrove responded, “Makes it pretty cool and knowing that I may be a part of something much greater.”

The standardized and curated data comes from research done by a group at the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Network, and it covers things like a patient’s demographic, medical history, as well as behavioral and cognitive tests.

The platform now offers images, such as MRIs of kids and teenagers, some of whom have been identified with different neurodevelopmental abnormalities and others who are developing normally.

The Bloorview Research Institute’s associate director and child neurologist, Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, has worked in this area for almost 20 years. This time, she claims, it’s about sharing the information rather than gathering data and conducting the study.

She is aware that complex topics require a larger community to provide solutions.

According to Anagnostou, “We are proud of the work we perform, but we are also proud that we believe in democratizing information and sharing what we know with everyone else so that we may all reach our goals more quickly.”

Doctors are hoping that this program and international cooperation will assist in removing hurdles and administrative roadblocks and creating more individualized care for patients and their families.

Source: CTV News

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