For media enquiries or more information about research at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, please contact Vanessa Hrvatin (Communications Coordinator) or Clement Woo (Communications Manager).

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Healthy gut bacteria.
Systematic review identifies consistencies and gaps in MS microbiome studies Oct 21, 2019

There is growing evidence across a range of neurological disorders that the gut microbiome has a relationship with inflammation and changes in the brain. The bugs in your gut are beneficial for health including brain health, through—for example—production of beneficial metabolites and regulation of the immune system. Studies have shown differences in the microbial composition in people with diseases and healthy controls, but what are those differences, and how much do we know about what those bacteria are doing for people with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Matt Sacheli with a research participant on a stationary bike.
Exercise “rewires” the brain, may improve motor function and mood in PD Oct 15, 2019

Pictured: graduate student Matthew Sacheli with a research participant. Image credit: Don Erhardt/UBC Faculty of Medicine.

A celebration of music by the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health Movement Disorders Clinic team.
A hub for brain wellness to launch at UBC this fall Sep 30, 2019

Image source: Dr. Silke Cresswell.

Every so often, piano music fills the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. From students who sit down to spend a musical moment away from the lab, to people who reside in long-term care at UBC Hospital finding a few minutes for a song, the piano has been a bright spot for our community. It is nice on its own, but it serves a larger purpose; a little music here and there has a lot to do with improving the wellbeing of our clinic visitors, staff, students, and researchers.

Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose.
Member news: September 2019 Sep 26, 2019


Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose (pictured) was recognized by the Faculty of Medicine with a Distinguised Acheivement Award acknowledging meritorious performance. Dr. Liu-Ambrose recieved the award for Overall Excellence (Senior Faculty).

A firefighter drags a hose through the brush.
UBC researchers are influencing global mental health priorities in a changing climate Sep 24, 2019

“Globally, there are limited consistent resources and infrastructure to support mental health needs in the event of an emergency,” said Dr. Jill Murphy, Strategic Initiatives Director, APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health, and a postdoctoral fellow in UBC's Department of Psychiatry. “Historically, the approach post-disaster is to provide an acute response to mental health needs. With a changing global climate, it is going to be increasingly urgent to look at the long-term mental health implications of natural disasters and other climate-related emergencies.”

Kids playing soccer in the park on a fall day.
Translating Research to Care: Canadian Pediatric Concussion Guidelines Sep 23, 2019

Development of the Guideline was led by Drs Roger Zemek and Nick Reed, and co-authored with the support of concussion experts from across Canada, including Dr. Cheryl Wellington, who recently demonstrated the potential for a blood biomarker in pediatric traumatic brain injury (Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, June 2019), and Dr. Shelina Babul, who developed the Concussion Awareness Training Tool at BC Children’s Hospital. 

A community of people putting pieces of a puzzle together.
Living with Dystonia: Finding Hope through Community Sep 20, 2019

Jackson Mooney’s journey with dystonia began with a diagnosis before he'd recognized the symptoms.

“I had had a C5 nerve root for which I was referred to a neurologist. While he examined me, he asked why my head turned when I closed my eyes,” said Mooney. “He immediately referred me to the Movement Disorder (MD) Clinic at the Glenrose Hospital in Edmonton.”

Mooney’s symptoms appeared gradually, progressing over 15 years until 400 units of prescribed neurotoxin was no longer sufficient to provide relief.

A boy in kindergarten drawing with a friend.
Surrey-Vancouver kindergarten curriculum trial improved student success and reduced teacher burnout Sep 17, 2019

A kindergarten program emphasizing more play, hands-on learning, and students helping one another has been shown to improve academic outcomes, self-control, and attention regulation, according to the results of a new study by Dr. Adele Diamond, published today in the journal PLoS One. The program also enhanced children’s joy in learning, teachers’ joy in teaching, and reduced bullying, peer ostracism, and teacher burnout.

Dr. Yuan Ge, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Ann Marie Craig's lab.
New clarity for role of protein-protein interaction in synaptic plasticity Sep 11, 2019

New research from Dr. Yu Tian Wang’s lab has revealed a novel role for a protein involved in AMPA receptor trafficking, but that also is important for synaptic plasticity. The protein, p97, requires balance to facilitate synaptic transmission; out of balance it blocks long-term potentiation (LTP), a function that strengthens synaptic transmission and neuronal communication.

Dr. Jacqueline Quandt at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.
Intranasal protein limits disability in models of MS Aug 27, 2019

Can a protein applied to the inside of the nose reduce inflammation in the central nervous system?

New research from Dr. Jacqueline Quandt’s laboratory suggests that intranasal administration of E-selectin, a type of protein that is expressed by blood vessel cells in an attempt to recruit immune cells, can bolster an immunosuppressive response in the body and calm inflammation in the brain in models of multiple sclerosis (MS).