What We Do
- 20% of the world’s population suffers from a neurological disorder.
- There are over 600 different types of brain abnormalities.
- There is both a desire and need for alternative and non-pharmaceutical treatments, with little to no funds available.
- Since 2010, we’ve raised more than $2 Million for alternative brain research (we have funded tech solutions and non-pharmaceutical approaches to over 600 brain disorders).
- We’ve accelerated the ‘bench to bedside’ pathway by funding research projects directly impacting patients in less than six (6) years.
- We’ve funded over fifty two (52) research project and have expanded our University Grant Program to partner with five Universities across Western Canada (UofC,UofA, UofL, UofS, UofVic).
Pioneering the Use of Magnetic Brain Stimulation to Fight Depression in Youth
Dr. Frank P. MacMaster, University of Calgary
One in nine Canadians aged 15 to 24 suffers from depression—this is the highest rate of depression in any age group. Depression has negative impacts at home, at school, with friends and with family, and the impacts can be felt for decades. Unfortunately, front line treatments only work in about half of youth, leaving many ill and vulnerable to suicide—the second leading cause of death in this age group. Depression threatens their very lives. With funding from Branch Out, Frank MacMaster’s lab pioneered the use of magetic brain stimulation (TMS) to fight depression in youth. This novel technology offers new hope for those who are suffering and Dr. MacMasters work has helped spearhead efforts to bring brain stimulation to Alberta as a clinical service.
“Brain stimulation truly saved my life. It scares me to think of what I may have done if I hadn’t had the opportunity to participate.” – Study Participant
Music-Motion App Helping Parkinson’s Patients Walk Better
Dr. Bin Hu, University of Calgary
With Branch Out funding, Dr. Bin Hu and his team at the University of Calgary have developed the Ambulosono (or Walking-Song) app as a part of a larger program to help Parkinson’s disease patients in overcoming their walking disabilities. For many people living with Parkinson’s, the disease can not only dramatically affect their gait (the way they walk), but deter them from participating in social activity and physical exercise. Hu’s research discovered that brain circuits for music perceptions can help initiate and control a movement response. To use the app, patients strap the motion sensors to their leg and use the device to produce signals with their body movements that can turn music on or off. Freezing and shuffling steps stop the music from playing. After each walk, the app automatically sends the data to researchers who can remotely customize the program settings to ensure patients can walk safely with optimal outcomes. To learn more on this research click here: Music Walking Program for Parkinson’s