Centre for Brain Fitness

The Centre for Brain Fitness is Baycrest’s commercial incubator responsible for commercializing our technology and expertise to create social and economic benefit. The Centre for Brain Fitness administers several programs to build that bridge from research results to commercialization. The centre and those programs provide entrepreneurs a way to engage with Baycrest scientists and their life-changing products and services.

The Centre for Brain Fitness was founded on the vision of transforming the aging process through the development of evidence-based technologies and interventions aimed at the early detection and prevention of neurocognitive decline; the repair and rehabilitation of function in response to disease insult; and the maintenance of cognitive abilities to prolong independent living.

In collaboration with MaRS, we are connecting science with technology and creating innovative, market-driven research products that will reduce the prevalence of cognitive decline in an aging population.

Baycrest has developed a number of unique interventions and technologies that will enable therapists to make a difference in their clients’ lives. Baycrest is developing programs to allow therapists to be trained and supported in the delivery of these interventions. The latest science in aging underlie all of our programs and by using these interventions, therapists will benefit in their practice from the ongoing research at Baycrest.

Some examples of the interventions we are working on:

Training For Older Adults Workshop – In partnership with the Certified Professional Trainers Network (CPTN), Baycrest has developed a program to teach personal trainers how to accommodate the special needs of older adults.

Baycrest Advanced Geriatric Life Support Training – A combination of survival manuals and scenario-based training courses that are designed to assist physicians in the management of common acute, chronic, and palliative presentations in elderly patients.

Caring for Others – A web-based program that helps organizations provide support and value to an often overlooked ally in improved patient outcomes: the caregiver. Download this PDF for more information.

Memory Link Program – Memory-Link taps into preserved memory systems to teach amnesic individuals the skill sets necessary to utilize electronic memory-aids. Treatment is customized and addresses the entire spectrum of cognitive, occupational and social challenges that arise in amnesia.

The service is intended for adults with severe memory problems related to

  • Stroke
  • Anoxia
  • Infection
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Herpes encephalitis
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Tumor

Memory-Link is packaging knowledge gained from twenty years experience into a model of service delivery suitable for sharing with other local, national, and international centers. It will reflect contemporary communications practices and will integrate participatory technologies such as blogs, and other collaboration and communication systems, into its training, knowledge dissemination, outreach, and client support. This service, research and educational environment will be a welcoming destination that will encourage clients, families and healthcare professionals dealing with memory impairment to “look inside” Memory-Link for answers and guidance.

Registration now open for Baycrest Train-the-Trainer workshops for cognitive rehabilitation!


http://www.baycrest.org/educate/workshops/

First workshop: Goal Management Training®, June 8, 2015. Led by Brian Levine, Ph.D., C.Psych., ABPP-cn.

Early-bird and student discounts available.

Goal Management Training® – Executive functions are responsible for the control, direction, and regulation of cognitive and mental processes. Goal Management Training (GMT) provides clinicians with a validated, structured program for rehabilitation of executive functions.

Goal Management Training logo TM

New video produced by the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery. Watch the video on YouTube.

Executive or frontal lobe functions are responsible for the control, direction, and regulation of cognitive and mental processes. Examples of executive functions include paying attention, managing goals, and forming strategies. These skills are often affected in patients with impaired brain function, including those with traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, multiple sclerosis, or psychiatric disorders. Goal Management Training® (GMT) provides clinicians with a validated, structured program for rehabilitation of executive function.

Evaluation

Levine, B., Robertson I, Clare, L., Carter, G., Wilson, B.A., Duncan, J., & Stuss, D.T. (2000). Rehabilitation of executive functioning: An experimental-clinical validation of Goal Management Training. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 6, 299-312.

van Hooren, S. A., Valentijn, S. A., Bosma, H., Ponds, R. W., van Boxtel, M. P., Levine, B., Robertson, I., & Jolles, J. (2007). Effect of a structured course involving goal management training in older adults: A randomised controlled trial. Patient Educ Couns, 65, 205-213.

Levine, B., Stuss, D. T., Winocur, G., Binns, M. A., Fahy, L., Mandic, M., Bridges, K., & Robertson, I. H. (2007). Cognitive rehabilitation in the elderly: Effects on strategic behavior in relation to goal management. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13, 143-152.

Fish, J., Evans, J.J., Nimmo, M., Martin, E., Kersel, D., Bateman, A., Wilson, B.A., & Manly, T. (2007). Rehabilitation of executive dysfunction following brain injury: “Content-free’ cueing improves everyday prospective memory performance. Neuropsychologia, 45(6), 1318-1330.

Schweizer, T.A., Levine, B., Rewilak, D., O’Connor, C., Turner, G.R., Alexander, M.P., Cusimano, M. Manly, T., Robertson, I., & Stuss, D.T. (2008). Rehabilitation of executive functioning after focal damage to the cerebellum. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 22, 72-77.

Levine, B., Schweizer, T., O’Connor, C., Turner, G., Gillingham, S., Stuss, D.T., Manly T., & Robertson, I. H.(2011). Rehabilitation of executive functioning in patients with frontal lobe damage with Goal Management Training. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5:9.

Alfonso, J.P., Caracuel, A., Delgado-Pastor, L.C., & Verdejo-Garcia, A. (2011). Combined goal management training and mindfulness meditation improve executive functions and decision-making performance in abstinent polysubstance abusers. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 117(1), 78-81.

Jackson, J., Ely, E. W., Morey, M.C., Anderson, V.M., Sievert, C.S., Denne, L.B., Clune, J., Archer, K.R., Torres, R., Janz, D., Schiro, E., Jones, J., Shintani, A., Levine, B., Pun, B.T., Thompson, J., Brummel, N.E., & Hoenig, H. (2011). Cognitive and physical rehabilitation of intensive care unit survivors: Results of the RETURN randomized controlled pilot investigation. Critical Care Med.

Publications using modified GMT

Novakovic-Agopian, T., Chen, A.J., Rome, S., Abrams, G., Castelli, H., Rossi, A., McKim, R., Hills, N., & D’Esposito, M. (2011). Rehabilitation of executive functioning with training in attention regulation applied to individulally defined goals: A pilot study bridging theory, assessment, and treatment. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

Chen, A.J., Novakovic-Agorian, T., Nycum, T.J., Song, S., Turner, G.R., Hills, N.K., Rome, S., Abrams, G.M., & D’Esposito, M. (2011) Training of goal-directed attention regulation enhances control over neural processing for individuals with brain injury. Brain, 134(Pt 5), 1541-1554.

More Information

The next Train-the-Trainer workshop will be held on Monday June 8, 2015 at Baycrest.

Administration of Goal Management Training® requires purchase of the program kit, sold separately. The Goal Management Training® kit containing a trainer’s manual, 10 client workbooks and the program slides will cost $600 (Canadian) and can be purchased by clicking here.

Registration now open for Baycrest Train-the-Trainer workshops for cognitive rehabilitation!


http://www.baycrest.org/educate/workshops/

Early-bird and student discounts available.


The Memory and Aging Program® is an education and intervention program for older adults who are experiencing normal age-related memory changes. Through instructor-led discussions, in-class exercises, and evidence-based strategies, participants gain a better understanding of how memory works and tools to better manage their memory function. This five-week program has been offered at Baycrest Health Sciences since 1997, and over 900 individuals have participated to date.

Memory and Aging Program® Train-the-Trainer Workshop

This one-day workshop provides licensed health care providers with the necessary background information and experience to deliver this evidence-based memory intervention to groups of older adults experiencing normal age-related memory changes. The workshop combines interactive lectures and hands-on practice to help participants learn and gain experience with the memory intervention protocol.

Learning Objectives

During this workshop, participants will:

  • Review memory changes associated with normal aging and how different factors (such as lifestyle and stress) can impact memory function.
  • Gain knowledge of the evidence base that supports the use of specific memory strategies.
  • Learn a session-by-session group-based memory intervention protocol for individuals with normal age-related memory changes.
  • Gain hands-on practice with training others in the use of memory strategies.
  • Appreciate common challenges to delivering a memory intervention protocol.
  • Understand evidence for the benefits of the Memory and Aging Program and what past participants have gained from this comprehensive intervention.

Trainers:

Dr. Angela Troyer is the Professional Practice Chief of Psychology and Program Director of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health at Baycrest. She is cross-appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. in neuropsychology from the University of Victoria, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest. She has worked as a psychologist at Baycrest since 1997, where she developed and implemented the Memory and Aging Program and provided clinical neuropsychological assessment services. She has an active research program in the area of assessment and intervention of memory changes associated with normal aging and early cognitive disorders.

Dr. Susan Vandermorris is a psychologist in the Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health Program. She received her Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology from the University of Victoria, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at the Rotman Research Institute. She presently runs the Memory and Aging Program™ and provides clinical neuropsychological assessment services to older adults. Her research involves applications of neuropsychological assessment and intervention to improve diagnostic accuracy and enhance daily functioning.

More Information:

The next Train-the-Trainer workshop will be held in 2016. Please check back later for more information on this page or visit www.baycrest.org/educate/workshops

 

Memory and Aging Program® Kit

Administration of the Memory and Aging Program® requires purchase of the program kit. The Memory and Aging Program® kit, containing a detailed leader’s manual, presentation slides and 15 workbooks for program participants is available for purchase at a cost of $600 (Canadian). Additional client workbooks are also available for purchase separately. For more information, or to order, visit: www.baycrest.myshopify.com.

Memory and Aging Program brochure

Evidence Base

Two formal program evaluations have been conducted using test-retest parallel or randomized control-group designs (Troyer, 2001; Wiegand, Troyer, Gojmerac, & Murphy, 2013). These have generated evidence of the following outcomes associated with participation in the Memory and Aging Program:

  • Very large increases in participants’ knowledge of memory and factors affecting memory.
  • Very large increases in the ability to identify appropriate memory tools for everyday memory situations.
  • Increased satisfaction with memory, including reduced concerns about memory and increased confidence in ability to succeed with everyday memory situations.
  • Self-reported implementation of a healthier lifestyle, including improvements in use of relaxation techniques, physical exercise, cognitive and social engagement, and healthy diet.
  • Decreased intention to seek medical assessment or treatment for their memory. Because all participants had age-normal cognitive abilities on a standardized screening test, this represents a potential decrease in unnecessary use of health care resources.

Additional informal evaluations have been conducted on an on-going basis with participants who complete the Memory and Aging Program at Baycrest. These have provided evidence of the following:

  • Successful attainment of self-identified goals, with 98% of participants reporting satisfaction with at least one of the goals they set for their participation in the program, and 92% reporting satisfaction with two or three goals. Self-identified goals included, among other things, learning strategies to remember names, locations of household items, or things to do; increasing their understanding of memory, age-related memory changes, and lifestyle; and feeling less stressed, less worried, and more confident about their own memory.
  • Very high overall satisfaction with the program, with 95% of participants indicating they would recommend the program to a friend.

References
Troyer, A. K. (2001). Improving memory knowledge, satisfaction, and functioning via an education and intervention program for older adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 8, 256-268. doi:10.1076/anec.8.4.256.5642.

Wiegand, M. A., Troyer, A. K., Gojmerac, C., & Murphy, K. J. (2013). Facilitating change in health-related behaviours and intentions: A randomized controlled trial of a multidimensional memory program for older adults. Aging and Mental Health, 17, 806-815. doi:10.1080/13607863.2013.789000.

One of the first steps when taking a new and exciting invention from research to business idea is identifying the intellectual property (IP) that is part of your invention. This involves not only protecting your intellectual property but also understanding other IP in the research area. It may involve researching and applying for patents, trademarks, and copyright, where appropriate.

If you are affiliated with Baycrest and you feel you may have a significant discovery, even if you don’t think it has commercial opportunities, please contact the Centre for Brain Fitness as soon as possible. The Centre for Brain Fitness provides support in completing Baycrest’s Intellectual Property Disclosure Form. If there is IP to be protected, we can quickly and easily file a provisional patent. Once filed, you can disclose your discovery in abstracts, posters, papers, or conference talks without impacting the IP protection.