Who does our research Impact?

Our research targets a number of adult and elderly patient populations, from healthy to various neuropsychological disorders

Find out more about the populations we look at below

Healthy Aging

What is Healthy Aging?

In Canada, the number of individuals over age sixty-five has exceeded the number of children (under age fourteen) for the first time in history. According to Statistics Canada, the number of seniors in Canada could reach 10.9 million by 2036. Given the shift in our relative age distribution, there is currently a crucial need to better understand the changes that occur as individuals age, especially given that the vast majority of cognitive neuroscience research has focused on young adults. Among the most well-known shifts associated with aging are changes in cognitive ability. These changes are considered normal and are to be expected. 

How do we study healthy aging?

The overarching goal of our research in this area is to understand the underlying neural correlates of aging in the human brain using advanced multimodal imaging methods, focusing on structural and functional connectivity, including unique measures, such as Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) variability.

Alzheimer's Disease

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, degenerative, neurocognitive disorder that is characterized by memory impairment with possible disturbance of language, executive functions, visuospatial abilities and motor skills (i.e. apraxia). An estimated 500 000 Canadians have been diagnosed with AD and this number is expected to double within the next generation. Current approved options for treatment of AD are limited to pharmacological treatments aimed at reducing the rate of symptom progression. Emerging research has focused on the detection of presymtomatic biomarkers such that effective symptomatic treatments and preventative strategies can be introduced prior to the development of significant neurodegeneration. 

How do we study AD?

Our lab uses techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting state functional magnetic resonance (rsfMRI) imaging to investigate novel biomarkers in individuals with AD as well as individuals at risk for AD (e.g. individuals with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment). .

Multiple Sclerosis

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Globally, Canada has the highest prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic neurodegenerative condition that is typically diagnosed in young adulthood. MS can involve a wide range of symptoms including sensory, motor, cognitive and emotional domains of function, depending upon the brain region affected. Other nonspecific MS symptoms include decreased quality of life, fatigue, and decreased fitness. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for MS. Most patients rely on medical management with pharmaceuticals, but there is increasing interest in behavioural interventions. 

How do we study Multiple Sclerosis?

Our aim is to use objective neuroimaging measures in addition to neuropsychological assessment measures to investigate the effects of behavioural interventions (e.g. exercise) in individuals with MS.

Traumatic Brain Injury

What is TBI?

Concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that commonly occurs in contact sports. The symptoms of a concussion may include physical, emotional and cognitive complaints. In Canada, there are approximately  94 000 activity-limiting concussions per year in individuals aged 12 and over. It is currently thought that 80-90% of concussions resolve within 7-10 days. However, assessment of recovery relies heavily on behavioral measures that are weighted towards physical manifestation (e.g. coordination) and self-report.

How do we study TBI?

Our aim is to investigate the effects of sub-concussive and concussive impacts using objective MRI based measures, including diffusion tensor imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging in conjunction with measures of cognition.