Branch Out Neurological Foundation

The Challenge:

  • 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 nearly $3 Million for alternative brain research.
  • 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 Eighty (80) research projects in 8 universities across Canada.

Impact Story:

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’sResearch Funding:

To date, we have funded 0ver 80 neuroscience research projects from an Undergraduate to Principle Investigator level. All research proposals are reviewed by our Scientific Review Panel to ensure it meets the highest quality of research methods and scientific measures. Research results will generate reliable data for physicians and patients, allowing for informed decisions about all potential treatment options. Some examples of the research we’ve funded include:

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation on youth depression.
  • High-fat or ketogenic diet in Autism
  • The effects of music on mitigating “freezing” in Parkinson’s patients
  • Black tea extract on brain trauma

Click here to see a full list of the research projects we’ve funded.

Unlike Minds Summit

In November 2018, we hosted the inaugural Unlike Minds Summit.

Brain health affects every part of our lives, every industry, every business, every person.
UNLIKE Minds gathered experts from multiple disciplines and sectors to focus on the fast-moving and important areas of neuroscience today: the connection between diet, the gut microbiome and brain function.

This summit was the result of a partnership between ATB Financial, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Beakerhead, NeuroTrition, Campus Alberta Neuroscience, and the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.

Calgary NeuroCAM Research Centre 

By 2020, we are aiming to establish Calgary as a global hub for neuro-tech and non-pharma research.

We are striving to be recognized as leaders in  developing cross industry collaborations and attract the top experts who are working towards solving the many mysteries of the brain. This hub is a significant step towards increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the i2i (Idea to Impact) pipeline identified throughout our robust experience navigating the healthcare and research systems.

To date, we have hosted annual fundraising events, raising a total of nearly 3 Million dollars. Now we’re on a mission to raise millions more by inviting philanthropists to join our mission, mark Calgary on the global neuroscience research map and help us all see a world free from neurological disorders in our future.


1.  Legacy Partner

  • Help make the Branch Out Centre in Calgary a reality. This is our biggest project yet! It is a project for Calgarians to be proud to stand behind as it will be a disruptor in the research sector by incorporating a multi interdisciplinary approach to an important goal: solve neurological disorders through the use of innovative technologies and non-pharmaceutical approaches.
  • Fund and name the first ever Branch Out Research Chair position.

If interested, please contact our Co-Founder and Executive Director, Crystal Phillips, to discuss further.

2. DonateThere are three ways to donate.

  1. Make a one-time donation;
  2. Join our Monthly Donor Club (Become one of 150 new monthly donors of 2017, in celebration of Canada’s  150th! Monthly prizes to be won)
  3. Create an installment plan;  or

3. Hire a neuroscientist to come to your office and engage your employees in a fun-              filled neuro trivia challenge.

4. Sponsor  or Take Part in an EventThe most fun you can have supporting Branch Out.      Learn what exciting activities are around the corner.

5. VolunteerSee what volunteer options are currently available. We always need helping             hands willing to promote brains at their best.


Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Branch Out Neurological Foundation

Laureen Jensen

403.561 7044


More Info


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