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October 22, 2012

Showcases innovations in aging and brain health

Toronto, Ontario – Baycrest Health Sciences kicks off a weeklong Research Festival at its main campus on Bathurst Street, starting today. The festival showcases Baycrest’s world-class cognitive science, innovation and commercialization capacity which hold exciting promise for transforming aging for future generations.

Visitors to the festival will see futuristic cognitive diagnostic tools and other innovations for improving the lives of aging adults. They will have an opportunity to meet the scientists, some of whom have just published new books for boomers and caregivers who want information on scientifically-proven lifestyle strategies for maintaining brain health and overall health longer in the lifespan.

“The Research Festival is a terrific opportunity to engage our many stakeholders, from philanthropists to industry partners, government officials, our staff, teachers and students, and those from the community who volunteer their time to participate in research studies at our labs,” said Dr. Randy McIntosh, Vice President of Research at Baycrest and Director of Baycrest’s world-renowned Rotman Research Institute (RRI).

“We hope those who attend our festival will come away inspired by our breadth of world-class cognitive science, knowledge exchange and innovative thinking that are driving the development of future-focused products to help people age better.”

A highlight of the festival is an evening panel discussion – Straight talk about your aging brain: the power of nutrition, nature and nurturing – on Tuesday Oct. 23 in Baycrest’s Wintergarden. Zoomer Radio personality Dale Goldhawk, host of AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, will engage three cognitive science experts from Baycrest’s RRI in a lively discussion about the importance of lifestyle strategies such as walking in nature and eating healthy foods for keeping our cognitive powers and overall mental health in good shape as we age. Joining Goldhawk on stage will be brain health experts:

  • Marc Berman, a post-doctoral fellow whose groundbreaking research has shown that spending time with nature, for example going for a walk in the park, refreshes our brain, improving attention and memory performance. His findings have attracted international media attention and were cited in The New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize Finalist book by Nicholas Carr: The Shallows –What the internet is doing to our brains;
  • Dr. Carol Greenwood, senior scientist and Canada’s leading professor of nutrition and brain health, who has just published MINDfull, the world’s first science-based cookbook for the brain, with 100 delicious recipes that will fire up your synapses. It’s available as an e-book
  • Dr. Tiffany Chow, senior scientist and behavioural neurologist, who is an expert in diagnosing and treating dementias, including frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Chow recently published a free online educational activity book for children who have a parent with early-onset dementia. She also has a health and lifestyle book, The Memory Clinic, coming out in January by Penguin Canada.

Prior to the on-stage discussion, there will be a premiere screening of a short animation offering that describes Baycrest’s mammoth science project to build the world’s first virtual, functioning brain. The computerized brain has just launched as a research tool – an important milestone toward its full potential as a powerful clinical diagnostic tool that could revolutionize the way doctors assess and repair cognitive damage from stroke and the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. A Global News story about the virtual brain project will also be shown.


More Research Festival highlights…

On Oct. 24, Grade 5 students from a local school will tour the brain labs at Baycrest’s RRI, meet the scientists, and participate in fun demonstrations to learn how the brain works. On Oct. 25, visitors to the festival will have an opportunity to view the cutting edge projects for transforming aging that are underway in Baycrest’s Innovation, Design and Technology Lab. A book fair on Oct. 26 will feature book signings by Baycrest brain health experts who have recently published books for consumers.

Full schedule of daily events at the Research Festival

For more information on this press release, please contact:
Kelly Connelly, Senior Media Officer
Baycrest Health Sciences

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