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Brain, Behaviour and Health: Emerging Research
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When: Friday, February 22, 2019
8:00 AM
Where: Holiday Inn - Yorkdale
3450 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario 
Contact: Cristina
416 487 4040 | 888 672 9999

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Opening Remarks and Welcome:    Dr. Rhonda Nemeth, Ph.D., C.Psych.



Are Gut Bacteria Involved in the Pathogenesis of Chronic Pain?: Dr. Amir Minerbi, M.D., Ph.D, Alan Edward Pain Management Unit, McGill University

Fibromyalgia is a prevalent clinical syndrome, challenging to diagnosis and treatment. In recent years, advances in the study of the gut microbiome, have shed light on the role of gut bacteria in health and disease, and on its bi-directional interactions with the brain, hinting that they may play a role in the pathogenesis of pain in animal models. Using next generation sequencing technology we compared the microbiome of 77 fibromyalgia patients with that of 79 matched controls. Gut microbiome of fibromyalgia patients differed significantly from that of matched controls, and variance was explained by disease variables more than by any other innate or environmental variable. In fibromyalgia patients, a relative increase in the abundance of members of the Parabacteroides and Clostridium genera, and a relative decrease in the relative abundance of members of the Faecalibacterium and Haemophilus genera were observed. The relative abundance of some taxa quantitatively correlated with symptoms severity. This first demonstration of gut dysbiosis in chronic pain could open new horizons in our understanding of chronic pain possibly allow for new treatment modalities to be developed.



Mood Modifying Microbes: The Role of the Gut Microbiome on Mental Illness:  Dr. Valerie Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCP, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary



Discussion | Q&A: Dr. Minerbi and Dr. Taylor





Brain Death and Consciousness: Dr. Bobby Stojanoski, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Adrian Owen Lab Brain and Mind Institute, Western University
Dr. Stojanoski will review the history of EEG and fMRI to probe for residual cognitive and conscious processing in patients who have suffered severe brain injury and are in a persistent vegetative state.  He will highlight significant breakthroughs in the quest to find (successfully) conscious processing in a group of patients who otherwise show no behavioural evidence of being consciously aware. He will also present recent work that is currently being undertaken, and what he and his colleagues have planned for the future. 



Using fMRI to Assess TBI: Dr. David Corey, Ph.D., Founder, Brain Scan Inc
One of the greatest challenges facing patients who have a mild to moderate TBI is the lack of objective imaging data [e.g. CT, MRI] supporting the presence of a brain injury. The field of functional neuroimaging, exemplified by functional MRI, is gradually being developed to help address this challenge. I will describe fMRI technology and illustrate its usefulness with the aid of a case history.


Discussion | Q&A: Dr. Stojanoski and Dr. Corey


              LUNCH | NETWORKING



Mind, Myth and Mammoths: The Parable of the Five IME Assessors and the Elephant in the Examination Room:
Dr. Bruce Ballon, BSc, MD, ESPC, FRCPC, Associate Professor, Psychotherapies, Humanities and Educational Scholarship, Brain and Therapeutics
Participants in this session will be invited to participate in a facilitated and interactive discussion regarding:  Canadian systemic healthcare beliefs that continue to perpetuate myths of dualism between “mind” and “body”; examples of other cultures where mental health and physical health are treated as general health; and the potentially dire consequences of non-integration of multi-disciplinary assessment reports.



Holistic Approach to Attendant Care and Activities of Daily Living: Joanne Romas, MSc(OT), OT Reg. (Ont.), Joanne Romas & Associates
As health care providers we are often asked to comment on our client’s abilities to resume their activities of daily living. Using a recent decision (Cumberbatch v Guarantee) the importance of health care providers using a holistic approach when addressing questions and recommendations surrounding attendant care and activities of daily living will be illustrated.



Recent Decisions Regarding AB Multidisciplinary Assessments: Laura Emmett, Partner, Strigberger Brown Armstrong LLP; President of the Canadian Defense Lawyers  




Expert Bias: View from the Bench and Bar: Jeffrey Shinehoft, Jeffrey Shinehoft Personal Injury Law  and Joel Dick, Partner, Howie, Sacks & Henry Personal Injury Law


Dr. Nemeth
Dr. Ballon, J. Romas, L. Emmett, J. Shinehoft, J. Dick, Dr. Orner






200-411 Richmond Street East, Toronto, ON  M5A 3S5
   416 487 4040 | 888 672 9999
  416 929-5256
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