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Release Date: March 22, 2022 | Run Time: 25:18 | Download Episode 1 transcript
With the controversial approval of Alzheimer's drug, Aducanumab, in the United States, we speak with neurologist and medicinal chemist, Dr. Donald Weaver, to break down the science, sift through the hype, and help us understand why it's so difficult to diagnose and treat a disease that affects more than 55 million people worldwide. As the co-Director of Krembil Brain Institute and with 30 years of experience as both a doctor and a scientist, Dr. Weaver is not convinced this new drug is the answer. But he says progress is being made and there's plenty of reason for hope.
Listen now to the full episode on Apple Podcasts or on the player below.
Featuring Dr. Weaver, Neurologist, Medicinal Chemist, and co-Director, Krembil Brain Institute. Special thanks to Patty Kim for sharing her story.
About Dr. Donald Weaver
Dr. Donald Weaver is a neurologist, a medicinal chemist and co-Director of Krembil Brain Institute at UHN. He is an internationally recognized research leader in drug design and discovery for neurological disorders, and a sought after speaker and thought leader in the area of Alzheimer's and dementia. He has designed and co-developed two drugs that have reached Phase III human trials and has four others in preclinical development; one of these drugs (tramiprosate) was one of the first "disease-modifying" drugs in the world to reach Phase III clinical trials for Alzheimer's dementia. Dr. Weaver has won numerous awards including the Prix Galien Canada (2009), Jonas Salk Canada Award (2011), the S. Weir Mitchell Award (American Academy of Neurology, 1991) and the Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award (2020).
About Patty Kim
Patty Kim is a full-time working mom, who, along with her siblings, is caring for her mother living with Alzheimer's.
Risk Factors for Alzheimer's and Dementia
Living with Dementia - A caregiver's perspective
The Future of Alzheimer's and Dementia
Bonus Content: To hear more from Patty, listen to her full story:
Run Time: 05:32 | Download bonus content transcript
Release Date: April 5, 2022 | Run Time: 32:23 | Download Episode 2 transcript
The medical after-effects of a stroke can be mild or severe. But for young stroke patients, the consequences of returning to their lives after a stroke, can be just as devastating. In fact, only half of stroke survivors under the age of 65 ever return to work – and far more cope with depression, anxiety, and extreme fatigue.
On the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, host Heather Sherman meets with Dr. Aleksandra Pikula, a pioneer in the field of stroke in young adults. They discuss the latest research, including a new study led by Dr. Pikula, looking at how lifestyle interventions post-stroke may help to improve long-term outcomes. Plus, we hear from two of Dr. Pikula's patients to gain a deeper perspective on how they are reclaiming their lives, and we'll speak with a Nurse Practitioner about what it's like when a 'Code Stroke' is called and the team jumps into action.
"We can say that roughly 50% of young stroke survivors will not return to work and about 25% will require modifications in their workplace. It's even more dramatic that about 80% will have some sort of psychosocial complaints in the form of depression, anxiety, fatigue, 50-70% will have sleep disturbances and 30-40% will have some cognitive dysfunction. So, we're really talking about a lot of invisible disabilities that people don't often think when talking about stroke." - Dr. Aleksandra Pikula
Featuring Dr. Aleksandra Pikula, Neurologist, Clinician Investigator and Director of Stroke Research with Krembil Brain Institute at UHN. Special thanks to La Croix Calloo, Marianne Fedunkiw and Tim Stewart for sharing their stories.
About Dr. Aleksandra Pikula
Dr. Aleksandra Pikula is a neurologist and a clinician investigator with Krembil Brain Institute at UHN. Dr. Pikula completed medical school and her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Belgrade, then continued her training in Boston, pursuing a sub-specialty in stroke neurology at Boston University, Harvard University and at the world-renowned Framingham Heart Study. Dr. Pikula is the Director of Stroke Research at UHN, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto (U of T) and co-Director of the Women's Neurology Fellowship at U of T. She is also the founder and Director of the largest Stroke in Young Adults (SiYA) Program in Canada.
About La Croix Calloo
La Croix Calloo is currently an English and Visual Arts teacher with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. She was 22 years-old when she had a stroke, which caused a rift in her educational career. La Croix is happy and eager to share her life and experiences with Krembil Brain Institute, and to be an advocate for diversity in mental health and healthcare.
About Marianne P. Fedunkiw
Marianne P. Fedunkiw is a Toronto-based writer, historian and journalist who has worked for Discovery Channel and The Globe and Mail. Having earned a PhD in medical history, she completed a fellowship at The University of Oxford. The author of three books, Marianne's current projects include: a novel set in the 1930s and 1940s about an immigrant Ukrainian Canadian family, and a play centred on four patients who are dealing with the challenges of life, after a stroke.
About Tim Stewart
Tim Stewart has been a Nurse Practitioner with the stroke team at Krembil Brain Institute since 2013, having worked in the emergency department prior to that. When he is not working, Tim loves travelling, making furniture and hanging out with his dog, Gracie.
Krembil Minute - Stroke
Dr. Timo Krings on why he loves helping patients
Learn the signs of a stroke | Heart & Stoke Foundation
Bonus Content: To hear more from La Croix and Marianne, listen to their full stories:
La Croix Calloo | Run Time: 05:35 | Download "Bonus Content: La Croix Calloo" transcript
Marianne P. Fedunkiw | Run Time: 06:23 | Download "Bonus Content: Marianne Fedunkiw" transcript
Release Date: April 19, 2022 | Run Time: 30:58 | Download Episode 3 transcript
Mozart was just 25 years old when he composed his Sonata for Two Pianos in D major. Now, hundreds of years later, his enchanting melody is offering hope to those living with epilepsy, a brain disease often characterized by debilitating seizures.
On this episode of Your Complex Brain, Heather speaks with Dr. Marjan Rafiee and Dr. Taufik Valiante to discuss the latest research around the therapeutic role that music may play in neurological disorders such as epilepsy, a mystery which is still not fully understood.
"I'm hoping to get a better understanding about, what are the important features in a musical piece that could have such an effect in individuals with epilepsy," said Dr. Rafiee. "Ultimately, one day, the dream is to be able to create our own musical pieces using a machine learning algorithm, for individuals with epilepsy, to reduce their seizures."
As we learn during the conversation, even these leading researchers were surprised by the results they uncovered.
"From a scientific point of view, it was a little bit hard to imagine that we would actually ultimately see the kinds of effects that we did, and I think that's really where the pleasant surprise came," said Dr. Taufik Valiante.
Plus, we hear directly from a patient who took part in the Mozart and Epilepsy study.
Listen to the full episode and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and everywhere else you get your podcasts.
Special thanks to Scott Dainty for sharing his story.
About Dr. Marjan Rafiee
Dr. Marjan Rafiee is a postdoctoral fellow in the Neuron to Brain Laboratory at Krembil Brain Institute, and leads the Music and Epilepsy Research Project. Dr. Rafiee began her career in engineering, but decided to change her research field to the exciting world of neurobiology and neuroscience.
About Dr. Taufik Valiante
Dr. Taufik Valiante is a neurosurgeon, senior scientist, Director of the Surgical Epilepsy Program at Krembil Brain Institute and Co-Director of the Center for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA). Check out Dr. Valiante's band on Twitter! @draggedbyafish
About Scott Dainty
Scott Dainty is a Naturopathic Doctor, and an avid sports enthusiast and musician. Scott was one of the original participants in the Music and Epilepsy research project.
Dr. Taufik Valiante on why he studies epilepsy
Dr. Taufik Valiante's talk on the future of implantable technology at UHN's 'Science in the 6ix' event
Krembil Minute: Epilepsy & Music Therapy
How to identify and help during different types of seizures
Bonus Content: To hear more from Scott, listen to his full story:
Scott Dainty | Run Time: 06:05 | Download "Bonus Content: Scott Dainty" transcript
Release Date: May 3, 2022 | Run Time: 41:57 | Download Episode 4 transcript
Rowan Stringer was a 17 year-old rugby player who sustained several concussions over a series of matches, before passing away in 2013. Her family, and others like them, are fighting hard to make sure something like this never happens again, through education and advocacy. But there is currently no method for accurately diagnosing a concussion or predicting the length of recovery. And there are no effective treatments.
On the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, host Heather Sherman speaks with Dr. Carmela Tartaglia to discuss the latest research on the link between multiple concussions and neurodegeneration, or progressive loss of brain function – a symptom that's consistent with diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
"In concussion, at least in my clinic, we are really trying to move towards precision medicine and personalized medicine, because you and I will not experience a brain injury in the same way," says Dr. Tartaglia. "We'll have different symptoms that we have to deal with, we have different contexts. So, we try to move towards individualized treatment."
We also hear from Anna Vasileuskaya, a 5th year PhD student in Dr. Tartaglia's lab at Krembil Brain Institute, about her research looking at new ways to diagnose CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), a progressive and often fatal brain disease.
Featuring Dr. Carmela Tartaglia is a cognitive neurologist and Clinician Investigator at Krembil Brain Institute. She also co-leads the UHN Memory Clinic. Special thanks to Anna Vasileuskaya, for sharing her story.
About Dr. Carmela Tartaglia
Dr. Carmela Tartaglia is a Clinician Scientist at Krembil Brain Institute, part of University Health Network (UHN), and The University of Toronto. She maintains a cognitive/behavioural clinic within the UHN Memory Clinic, where she sees patients with neurodegenerative diseases and persisting symptoms of concussion. As well, she is interested in the delayed effects of concussions. She holds the Marion and Gerald Soloway Chair in Brain Injury and Concussion Research and is one of the principle investigators at the Canadian Concussion Centre. The goal of her research program is to develop biomarkers for early detection of disease, so as to bring precision medicine and targeted, early treatments to her patients.
About Anna Vasileuskaya
Anna Vasileuskaya is a 5th year PhD student in Dr. Carmela Tartaglia's lab at Krembil Brain Institute. Her research focuses on neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers of neurodegenerative illnesses – specifically Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.
Kathleen and Gordon Stringer speak at UHN event
UHN Behind the Scenes – Dr. Carmela Tartaglia
Krembil Minute – Concussion
Release Date: May 17, 2022 | Run Time: 43:40 | Download Episode 5 transcript
Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive type of malignant brain tumour.
It strikes suddenly, often in the prime of life, and is a devastating diagnosis for patients and loved ones.
But innovative new research, such as a blood test to detect and diagnose brain cancer, is showing promise and bringing hope to a field in desperate need of new treatment options.
In this episode of Your Complex Brain, Heather speaks with Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, a neurosurgeon and scientist on a mission to cure brain cancer. Together they discuss Dr. Zadeh's efforts to improve the quality of life and long-term outcomes, for patients.
Dr. Zadeh, Krembil Brain Institute's Medical Director, explains how the science has evolved in the 20+ years she has treated patients with brain cancer. She also discusses her pioneering research, which includes leading a team that is developing a blood test (and other diagnostic methods) to diagnose brain cancer earlier and with more accuracy.
"I think the shift that we need to happen is to know, 'What is that one test that's going to tell us that you're at risk of developing brain cancer?'" she says. "Because we know that if we're able to intervene when the tumour is smaller, the outcome is better. And so how do we get there for every patient? That would be really the golden ticket to transform how we manage brain cancer patients."
At the top of the show, we hear from Rick Arkell, who lost his wife Ally to brain cancer when she was just 35 years old. Later, we meet Dr. Farshad Nassiri, a senior neurosurgery resident at Krembil Brain Institute and The University of Toronto, about his role in developing a blood test to detect and diagnose brain cancer.
Featuring Dr. Gelareh Zadeh is Medical Director of Krembil Brain Institute. She is also the head of Neurosurgery at UHN, and the head of Surgical Oncology and a Senior Scientist at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Special thanks to Rick Arkell and Dr. Farshad Nassiri for sharing their stories.
About Dr. Gelareh Zadeh
Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), FAANS, is Medical Director of Krembil Brain Institute, Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at UHN and Dan Family Chair and Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto. She is also the Head of Surgical Oncology and a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where she runs a translational research program at the MacFeeters-Hamilton Neuro-oncology Program, and holds the Wilkins Family Brain Tumour Research Chair.
About Dr. Farshad Nassiri
Dr. Farshad Nassiri is a senior neurosurgery resident at Krembil Brain Institute, with an interest in brain tumour surgery and skull base surgery. He completed a PhD in molecular biology under Dr. Zadeh's supervision.
About Rick Arkell
Rick Arkell lost his beloved wife Alicia ("Ally") at age 35, in 2019. They have a young son, Emmett. Rick and his family and friends have raised more than $100,000 in support of brain cancer research, through the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer annual event.
Dr. Gelareh – Glioblastoma Research Q & A
Rick Arkell tribute to his wife Ally
Krembil Minute – Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy
Bonus Content: Hear more about Rick and Ally's story and about how Rick is carrying on Ally's legacy by raising money for brain cancer research.
Rick Arkell | Run Time: 10:30 | Download "Bonus Content: Rick Arkell" transcript
Your Complex Brain - S1E5 - Bonus Slideshow
Release Date: May 31, 2022 | Run Time: 36:01 | Download Episode 6 transcript
You've likely never heard of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM). But this progressive condition is the most common cause of spinal cord injury in the world, and it just might be the cause of your mystery back or neck pain.
If left untreated, DCM can lead to profound and permanent nerve damage, often resulting in paralysis and a thousand-fold increased chance of spinal cord injury.
On the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, host Heather Sherman meets with Dr. Michael G. Fehlings, a neurosurgeon and senior scientist with Krembil Brain Institute at UHN. He's on a mission to spread awareness about DCM and improve the quality of life for those living with spinal cord injuries.
Dr. Fehlings is also a pioneer in the treatment of spinal conditions, and one of the first clinician-researchers to identify the benefits of early spinal decompression surgery, for DCM and other spine-related conditions.
"Essentially, what we've shown with early surgical treatment, is we've shifted the recovery profile," said Dr. Fehlings. "So, we have about one in three people walking away from an injury that they would not have been able to walk away from before."
The episode also features Analynne Salas, a patient of Dr. Fehlings, who underwent spinal decompression surgery for DCM after a fall, and Rosalie Magtoto, an Advanced Practice Nurse with the Spine team at Krembil Brain Institute.
Special thanks to Analynne Salas and Rosalie Magtoto for sharing their stories.
About Dr. Michael G. Fehlings
Dr. Michael G. Fehlings is a neurosurgeon and senior scientist with Krembil Brain Institute at UHN. He is the Robert Campeau Family Foundation/Dr. C.H. Tator Chair in Brain and Spinal Cord Research, as well as co-Director of the Spine Program at The University of Toronto.
Dr. Fehlings combines an active clinical practice in complex spinal surgery with a translationally-oriented research program, focused on discovering novel treatments to improve functional outcomes following spinal cord injury.
Dr. Fehlings has received numerous awards and distinctions for his work, including: the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Mentor of the Year Award (2016), the American Spinal Injury Association Apple Award (2016 & 2022) and the prestigious Ryman Prize, for his work enhancing the quality of life for older people (2019).
About Rosalie Magtoto
Rosalie Magtoto is an Advanced Practice nurse with Krembil Brain Institute, working with the spine team, part of the neurosurgical group at Toronto Western Hospital, for the past 18 years. In this role, Rosalie collaborates with the multidisciplinary team in the unit and ward, which provides care for patients. She attends interdisciplinary rounds and family meetings to fulfil the care needs of patients and their families.
About Analynne Salas
Analynne Salas is a Personal Support Worker and the mother of three children. She is incredibly grateful to Dr. Fehlings and his team, as well as the rehab specialists at Toronto Rehab – Lyndhurst Centre, for her care and recovery.
Bonus Content: Hear more from Analynne.
Analynne Salas | Run Time: 05:37 | Download "Bonus Content: Analynne Salas" transcript
Release Date: June 14, 2022 | Run Time: 28:40 | Download Episode 7 transcript
More than 50 years after emerging as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and other chronic illnesses, psychedelics appear to be making a comeback. But where does the research stand currently on psychedelics and what do we really know about how these compounds may affect the brain?
With the number of people living with mental health conditions on the rise and the re-emergence of psychedelics as a possible therapy, this topic is very timely. Some may call it a "perfect storm" – one the medical and scientific communities will need to carefully navigate.
On the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, host Heather Sherman explores the fascinating world of psychedelics in medicine and research. She meets with Dr. Susan Abbey, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the University Health Network and a Clinician Investigator with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, as well as Dr. Lakshmi Kotra, a Medicinal Chemist and Senior Scientist with Krembil Brain Institute and Co-Founder and CEO of Lucid Psycheceuticals.
Together, they discuss the re-emergence of psychedelics for mental health and the importance of research to truly understand and tap the potential of psychedelics, cautiously and safely.
"There are really significant numbers of people that are treatment-resistant, that our current treatments don't work for, who are endlessly frustrated," says Dr. Abbey. "I think what has the mental health field so excited about these psychedelic compounds is that, at least in the preliminary work that's been done, it looks like this may be a real game-changer for people who haven't gotten benefits so far."
"But it's not yet ready for prime time," she adds. "We still need years of research."
About Dr. Susan Abbey
Dr. Susan Abbey is Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the University Health Network (UHN), and a Clinician Investigator with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and the inaugural Director of the Nikean Psychedelic Psychotherapy Research Centre at UHN.
About Dr. Lakshmi Kotra
Dr. Lakshmi Kotra is a Medicinal Chemist and Senior Scientist with Krembil Brain Institute and a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Toronto. He is an academic entrepreneur with three decades of expertise in drug discovery, development, and pharmaceuticals and the co-founder and CEO of Lucid Psycheceuticals.
Release Date: June 28, 2022 | Run Time: 46:07 | Download Episode 8 transcript
More than 100,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson's disease (PD), a progressive brain disease that can impact mobility, cognitive function and speech, just to name a few of the early symptoms.
In the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, host Heather Sherman meets two people living with Parkinson's who have becomes advocates for the PD community, learning not just to live with the disease, but to live well - with more meaning and purpose. Now, they want to help others on the same journey.
"Patients want answers to very practical questions like, 'Why am I constipated? Can you do something about my pain? Can I move better? Can I stop falling?' These are the main questions that they have," says Dr. Alfonso Fasano. "It's not about tremor. This is what people think but it's not, and unless you talk to patients and see what they want to achieve, you don't necessarily know that and you focus on something that is not relevant."
The podcast features Dr. Fasano and the two patients, who are all members of the Patient Advisory Board (PAB) at Krembil Brain's world-renowned Movement Disorders Clinic, the largest clinic of its kind in Canada. The PAB's efforts are helping to redefine how healthcare professionals and patients communicate with each other – and that's making a huge difference, they say.
"This group of clinicians and staff is different. They actually want to know what the patients and care partners think and feel. And not only that, they actually want to do something with it," says Hugh Johnston, Founding Chair and PAB member. "They often don't ask a question unless they plan to do something with the answer."
The PAB hopes this innovative approach to patient partnership could help move the Parkinson's field forward and improve patient outcomes in the long term.
"I think it's important for collaboration to occur because only patients know what their life experience is," says Dr. Soania Mathur. "Studies have also shown that patient retention and patient recruitment are definitely improved when you have a patient involved in the research process or helping to develop the research study. So these are really tangible and positive outcomes of collaboration between patients and the medical & research communities."
About Hugh Johnston
Hugh Johnston is a retired professional accountant who spent many years as a strategic advisor to several of Canada's top foodservice companies, helping to streamline operations and boost efficiency. Hugh's business expertise came in very handy as the founding Chair of the Patient Advisory Board at Krembil Brain Institute's Movement Disorders Clinic.
About Dr. Soania Mathur
Dr. Soania Mathur is Chair of the Research Committee of the PAB, as well as Co-Chair of the Patient Council and a member of the Executive Science Advisory Board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. She is also one of the founders of PD Avengers, a global alliance of people with Parkinson's who are advocating for change, and the Founder of UnshakeableMD, a virtual platform helping to educate and engage those with Parkinson's to live full and productive lives.
About Dr. Alfonso Fasano
Dr. Alfonso Fasano is a neurologist and a Clinician Investigator at Krembil Brain Institute (KBI), working primarily with patients living with Parkinson's. He also holds the Chair in Neuromodulation and is co-Director of the Surgical Program for Movement Disorders at KBI, as well as Medical Advisor to the PAB.
Patient Advisory Board: Movement Disorders Speaker Series
Lorraine Kalia on why she studies Parkinson's Disease
Smart technology for your brain
Bonus Content: To hear more from Hugh and Soania, listen to their full stories:
Hugh Johnston | Run Time: 15:09 | Download "Bonus Content: Hugh Johnston" transcript
Soania Mathur | Run Time: 06:49 | Download "Bonus Content: Soania Mathur" transcript
Release Date: July 12, 2022 | Run Time: 54:30 | Download Episode 9 transcript
Imagine not being able to brush your teeth, eat a sandwich or cuddle your children because of the intense pain. That's the reality for many people living with trigeminal neuralgia, an unrelenting form of chronic facial pain.
For many of these patients, a smile, a kiss, or even a gust of wind can unleash a throbbing so severe, some describe it as a 'lightning bolt to the face.' And as we learn in the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, many patients live with this condition for years – often decades – without a diagnosis or proper treatment.
"These patients find themselves going from doctor to doctor, telling them about their suffering. Sometimes, it's heard. Sometimes, it's not heard," says Dr. Mojgan Hodaie, a Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist with Krembil Brain Institute. "Patients come to me after having had this condition upwards of 10, 20, 30 years. 30 years of suffering with this pain is just unimaginable and speaks volumes as to how silent this pain is."
Because trigeminal neuralgia is so rare and so misunderstood, some physicians have never even heard of it. Luckily, many patients here in Canada, and from around the world, find their way to Dr. Hodaie, who performs more procedures to treat trigeminal neuralgia than any other neurosurgeon in Canada. In fact, a recent CBC story celebrated her 1,000th surgery for the condition.
But Dr. Hodaie isn't satisfied with just treating patients. On the podcast, she discusses her quest to better understand where the pain originates from and where it travels within the brain, so that she can develop new – and more personalized – treatment options for patients. Dr. Hodaie also hopes her groundbreaking research and the advanced imaging techniques her team is pioneering, may one day help those who suffer with other types of chronic pain disorders, as well.
"If you add up the number of people that suffer from chronic pain and the number of people that suffer from other disorders, such as heart disease, and so on, chronic pain is by far larger in numbers," she says. "It really needs to be attended to and we really need to advance the ways that we look after our patients."
About Dr. Mojgan Hodaie
Dr. Mojgan Hodaie is a Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist with Krembil Brain Institute, as well as the Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair in International Surgery at UHN, Surgical co-Director of the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Family Gamma Knife Centre, and the Education Lead at Krembil Brain Institute, travelling the world to teach and mentor the next generation of neurosurgeons. Dr. Hodaie is also a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Hodaie's clinical treatment is focused primarily on the management of facial pain. Her research team has a particular interest in advanced MR technology approaches for the study of facial neuropathic pain.
About Asma Naheed
Asma Naheed is a registered MRI Technician with 15 years of practice in MRI. Among Asma's many accomplishments are her contributions to several clinical research studies, including High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HiFU), Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) studies. Outside of her professional interests, Asma enjoys cooking a variety of Pakistani dishes during her free time.
About Joshua Johnston
Joshua Johnston, PhD, is a former wildland fire fighter. Today he is a Forest Fire Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the development of remote sensing tools for studying the physical properties of combustion and fire behaviour, as well as the adaptation of remote sensing tools for operational fire management. In 2017 Josh launched Canada's first national emergency tactical wildfire detection and mapping systems, known as Torchlight. Josh is also a husband and a father of two young boys, an avid outdoorsman, a formally trained painter and photographer, and an endurance cyclist. In 2021, he cycled to raise money in support of Dr. Hodaie and Krembil Brain Institute, in recognition of their support for him and his family.
Dr. Mojgan Hodaie recounts her journey from new immigrant to neurosurgeon
Dr. Hodaie presenting at Krembil's 'International Day of Women and Girls in Science' event
Bonus Content: Hear more from Josh.
Josh Johnston | Run Time: 16:19 | Download "Bonus Content: Josh Johnston" transcript
Release Date: July 26, 2022 | Run Time: 45:41 | Download Episode 10 transcript
More than two years into the pandemic, life continues to be challenging and unpredictable for those dealing with the lasting symptoms of what has come to be known as long COVID.
But just how prevalent, worrisome and enduring are the brain-related symptoms of this health issue, such as headaches, brain fog and memory issues? And how do we know what's caused by the virus, and what could be the result of living through stressful and unprecedented times?
In the latest episode of Your Complex Brain, host Heather Sherman explores what scientists and physicians are learning about how to identify, diagnose and treat long COVID.
"When I think about COVID and the impact it's had on my family and my life, it's been life changing," says Susie Goulding, who first contracted COVID-19 just as the pandemic began more than two years ago, and who continues to live with the effects of the virus. Susie started an online support group, to help others living with long Covid find support and resources. That group now has 17,000+ members.
"To me, the most striking feature of long COVID is seeing the degree of deficit that a lot of these people present with," says Dr. Abdu Sharkawy, an Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases Specialist at UHN.
And while there's currently no cure for long COVID, effective therapies are emerging.
"We cannot treat long COVID, but we can sometimes treat the symptoms from long COVID," says Dr. Carmela Tartaglia, a Cognitive Neurologist and Clinician Investigator with Krembil Brain Institute. "Sometimes we can get people back to some semblance of their previous self. I tell people, think of your brain like these little gears and COVID has stopped one gear, or all of the gears. But, sometimes, just by getting one gear going, you can actually entrain the other ones."
Special thanks to Susie Goulding for sharing her story.
Dr. Carmela Tartaglia is a Cognitive Neurologist and Clinician Investigator with Krembil Brain Institute. Dr. Tartaglia is also co-Director of UHN's Memory Clinic. She is currently involved in a number of studies looking at the cognitive and neuropsychiatric impact of long COVID on patients, as well as sex and gender differences in long COVID.
About Dr. Angela Cheung
Dr. Angela Cheung is an Internal Medicine Specialist and a Senior Scientist with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, at UHN. Dr. Cheung is the co-Lead Investigator of the Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study (CANCOV), which is designed to better understand the short and long-term outcomes for patients with long COVID, and their caregivers.
About Dr. Abdu Sharkawy
Dr. Abdu Sharkawy is an Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Specialist at UHN. Under the mentorship and support of Dr. Cheung, he has become an active and dedicated consultant to UHN's Long Covid Clinic. Dr. Sharkawy is also a trusted public figure who is regularly called upon by media, to comment on the latest COVID-19-related news and information.
About Susie Goulding
Susie Goulding is the Founder of COVID Long-Haulers Support Group Canada, which is the largest Canadian online community for COVID-19 survivors and their families with 17,000+ members. The group's mandate is to connect people with support, the latest information, and access to participate in research studies happening across the globe.
Bonus Content: Hear more from Susie.
Susie Goulding | Run Time: 18:28 | Download "Bonus Content: Josh Johnston" transcript