Minding your Brain

A day-long event showcasing the best strategies and the latest science for patients, families, and anyone curious about neurology.

Saturday, October 14, 10am to 4:30pm
Palais des Congrès de Montréal, 5th floor, room 520

  • Free event. Registration required.
  • Patient support organizations will be on site.
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Please check off the talks that most interest you

(Most talks held in English and French in separate rooms. Click for schedule of talks in French.)
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Zolgensma made news as the world's most expensive drug. It is a one-time treatment that works by replacing missing genetic code. It is also the first gene therapy approved for a neurological condition, a rare hereditary disease called spinal muscular atrophy. This talk will discuss how gene therapy works, and how it offers hope for other neurological conditions.
Dr. Maryam Oskoui, Researcher and Director, Pediatric Neurology, McGill University

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Surprisingly, brain performance starts to decline soon after it peaks in our 30s. But significant brain changes are still possible throughout the course of our life. Research has shown that simple lifestyle choices may influence the trajectory of our brain function at mid-life, when we are most concerned about it. We'll discuss evidence-based strategies that may be helpful in keeping the brain healthy.
Dr. Étienne de Villers-Sidani, Cognitive Neurologist, Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital (The Neuro)

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This talk will focus on how to better manage stress in patients and family when a neurological condition is present. It will address the four mental states most frequently encountered in facing stress along with simple, low-cost strategies to establish a healthy balance between them.
Rachel Thibeault, Occupational Therapist, Consultant in psychological resilience and peer support

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Brain implants that deliver electrical stimulation to the nervous system have been used to treat neurological disorders, including deep-brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease and spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain. A new generation of implants is using artificial intelligence (AI) to decode brain activity in real-time and pinpoint stimulation more accurately. This talk will focus on the potential and limits of this new technology.
Dr. David Bergeron, Neurosurgery Resident, Clinician-Investigator program, Université de Montréal

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Ten years on, a patient who had a stroke as a young adult reunites with the neurologist who took part in her care while still a resident. An intimate discussion on how a neurological condition can give shape to the course of a life and how one patient can impact a doctor's journey.
Charlotte Jacob Maguire, Accessibility and Capacity Diversity Advisor at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal in conversation with Dr. Karine Garneau, Neurologist, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)

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After a stroke, it's important to be active to stimulate brain plasticity and foster recovery. All forms of stimulation are important -- physical, cognitive, emotional. Using adapted dance as a rehabilitation tool stimulates different parts of the brain, and adds a playful element enjoyed by patients. We will discuss how this works and practice a few moves from our seats!
Dr. Céline Odier, Neurologist, CHUM with Lucie Beaudry, Professor, Dance Department and Researcher, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montréal

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The need to readjust and reinvent ourselves is a constant as we age. This is particularly true for those facing degenerative neurological conditions, like ALS, Parkinson's and MS. This session will demystify mindfulness and look at the ways that learning to access flexible mindsets can provide a greater sense of control and acceptance in the face of loss and grief of all kinds.
Lana McGeary, Spiritual Care Counselor, ALS Clinic, The Neuro