Harper Government supports new research on injury prevention in children and youth

Research to produce new techniques and programs to prevent, diagnose and treat concussions

CALGARY, Nov. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today at a youth hockey practice with former NHL player Jamie Macoun announced funding for new research on concussions with a focus on improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these injuries in children and youth.

"Injuries are the number one cause of death for Canadians aged one to 44. It is clear that acting to prevent injuries will make a difference when most injuries are predictable and preventable. Whether it's a hockey concussion, a senior's fall or violence in the home, injuries take a huge emotional toll on families and communities. Our Government is committed to promoting injury prevention by supporting research aimed at improving the health of Canadians who are facing challenges due to traumatic brain injury," said Minister Ambrose. "We are pleased to collaborate with partners to fund research that will assist health care professionals provide the best care to those who sustain these types of injuries."

Today's announcement includes funding for 19 new research projects. They include a major project at the University of Calgary on developing best practices for the prevention, early diagnosis and management of sport-related concussion in youth ice hockey.

"I am pleased to support Minister Ambrose's announcement today and proud to recognize the contribution that researchers in Calgary will make in this effort to better understand concussions and their impact on health," said Mr. Burke.

"For hockey players, concussion is something that we worry about a lot and discuss in the dressing room. We just don't know how much damage is done by these injuries and what kind of lasting effects we will be dealing with later in life," said former professional hockey player and Flames Alumnus Jamie Macoun. "This research is a great step forward for athletes across the country."

The projects were funded through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Defence Research and Development Canada, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Ontario Brain Institute.

"Traumatic brain injury, especially in children and adolescents, can have major long-term consequences for health, including mental health," said Dr. Anthony Phillips, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. "By supporting early diagnosis with new biomarkers and brain imaging techniques, these projects will improve clinical research and produce more effective intervention strategies."

"Preventing and treating concussion and brain injury is a research priority, under the University of Calgary's Brain and Mental Health initiative. Our researchers are building on their respective expertise and collaborating across faculties to advance knowledge in the prediction, prevention and early intervention of concussion in children and youth," said Dr. Samuel Weiss, Director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and leader of the University's Brain and Mental Health Strategic Research Theme. "This funding partnership enables important research that will contribute to better health outcomes for children across Canada.

Fact Sheet

CIHR Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Research Funding

On Monday, November 4, 2013, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced funding from the Government of Canada and partners to support 19 new research projects on mild traumatic brain injury, more commonly known as concussion. By producing new techniques to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage concussions, these projects will help improve the recovery and protect the long-term health of Canadians who suffer these serious injuries. Five of the projects focus specifically on concussions in children and youth.

The 19 research projects are supported with funding of $4.3M from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and $3.2M from its partners for total investment of $7.5M. CIHR's partners include Defence Research and Development Canada, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Ontario Brain Institute. The projects were selected through a strategic research initiative led by the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.

The following is a list of the funded projects.

Team Grant: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Youth

Lead Researcher Project Funding
Dr. Carolyn Emery and Dr. Willem Meeuwisse
University of Calgary
To tackle important issues in pediatric concussion around diagnosis and prognosis through a 5 year longitudinal prospective cohort study including children and adolescents (ages 11-17) playing ice hockey. $1,495,383
Dr. Isabelle Gagnon
McGill University
To create a comprehensive, flexible and sustainable data management system that will serve to significantly advance clinical care via amalgamated and accessible research evidence.

$1,366,895
Dr. Karen Barlow
University of Calgary
To develop rational, biologically based evidence for the treatment of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) in children while examining the effect of melatonin on the symptoms of PCS and its neurobiology.

$877,392
Dr. Roger Zemek
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
To derive and validate a clinical prediction rule for the development of postconcussive symptoms in children and adolescents presenting to the emergency department following acute head injury.

$1,273,705
Dr. Michelle Keightley
Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation
To investigate the role of heart rate variability in determining neurophysiological recovery following mild traumatic brain injury in adolescents.

$1,065,728

Catalyst Grant: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Lead Researcher Project Funding
Dr. Lynda Mainwaring
University of Toronto
To investigate psychophysiological stress and mild traumatic brain injury in athletes and any sex/gender differences in these markers from injury to return-to-play.

$97,190
Dr. Michelle Keightley
Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation
To investigate the role of heart rate variability in determining neurophysiological recovery following mild traumatic brain injury in adolescents.

$91,872
Dr. Brian Levine
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
To provide a cross-sectional examination of the neurocognitive effects of mild traumatic brain injuries in members of the National Hockey League alumni.

$100,000
Dr. Ibolja Cernak
University of Alberta
To identify a link between cerebellar damage and chronic blast-induced neurological and behavioral deficits.

$100,000
Dr. Yu Tian Wang
University of British Columbia
To study the biological changes that occur in the brain following mild traumatic brain injuries, and test the ability of their drug to reduce the death and dysfunction of brain cells that occur following mild traumatic brain injuries.

$99,400
Dr. Andrew Baker
St.Michael's Hospital
To develop a blood-based test to determine whether an individual exposed to a primary blast has endured mild traumatic brain injury.

$99,927
Dr. Louis De Beaumont
Hopital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal
To develop an approach aiming to describe neural plasticity and the after effects of mild traumatic injury suffered by aging individuals.

$99,928
Dr. Bradford McFadyen
Université Laval
To study people with and without concussions from 10 to 30 years old while performing complex mental tasks to detect such functional changes after concussion and whether they are the same across the targeted age range.

$89,646
Dr. Nathalie Le Sage
Hôpital de l'Enfant- Jésus
To refine a clinical decision rule for comprehensive assessment and the early detection of patients at risk of persistent symptoms following a mild traumatic brain injury.

$99,920
Dr. Paul Van Donkelaar
University of British Columbia
To investigate the potential relationship between injury-induced cerebrovascular dysfunction and neurocognitive symptoms. $98,054
Dr. Brian Rowe
University of Alberta
To evaluate the sensibility, use and effectiveness of a novel electronic clinical decision support tool, the Electronic Clinical Practice Guideline, for mild traumatic brain injury.

$99,805
Dr. Alain Ptito
McGill University Health Centre
To examine the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on the improvement of post concussive symptoms and patterns of abnormal functional brain activity after mild traumatic brain injury. $99,075
Dr. Valérie Mongrain
Université de Montréal
To understand the impact of mild traumatic brain injury on the evolution of brain activity during sleep in the first days after a mild traumatic brain injury.


$99,398
Dr. Garnette Sutherland
University of Calgary
To develop a magnetic resonance imaging visible particle specific to the protein "Tau" and examine its association with repetitive mild head injury.


$100,000

  

SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
613-941-4563

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.


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