Over the last few weeks brain injuries have been in the news on a number of fronts, so much so that not everything can be posted onto our website. For those who wish to keep themselves fully informed try Google Alerts – Traumatic Brain Injury and you will be kept up to date on a daily basis.

Our conference is a month away and for the first time in our history BIAC has exceeded pre-registrations of over 125 people with applications trickling in on a daily basis. We may be looking at having over 200 registrations for 2010. BIAC Conference Brochure

Nominate a colleague, person or advocate for a BIAC National Award

Below you will find some interesting information on a number of topics and a short report on BIAC’s presence in Newfoundland with National, Provincial and Local Political Leaders and the end of BrainStormRIDE and one of the largest helmet giveaways in Canada.

I would also like to thank all those who welcomed and organized special events for Brad Cownden’s BrainStormRIDE in different parts of Canada from June 1-August 14, 2010. Special thanks to Lori and Kevin Cownden for their support of the ride back in Victoria, BC; from keeping the blog going to supporting Brad across Canada. What a great accomplishment and Thank You to Brad for creating awareness about acquired brain injury and for raising funds. Thank you to those who contributed to the ride, the Victoria Brain Injury Society and the Brain Injury Association of Canada.

From Ottawa Snaps:
Vergia, Lise, Al, Barrie, Bob, Adam, Murray, Wendy, Marjorie, Kathy, Francois & Michelle wait for Brad.

Brad Cowden, a 23 year old university student from B.C. is bicycling across Canada to bring awareness to Brain Injury and more specifically to raise funds to help support ABI survivors as they continue on their life’s journey with a brain injury. Brad was recently welcomed in Ottawa, treated to some hospitality and a short rest before continuing his journey. Follow his cross country trek at

A Call for Board Members for BIAC
Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC) is inviting interested persons to submit expressions of interest to serve on the Board of Directors for a three year term. Interested persons are asked to send the following information to [email protected].

  • Introductory letter expressing why you would like to sit on the Board and what you feel you can contribute to BIAC
  • Curriculum vitae

BIAC is looking for particularly for persons with experience in finances, business management, governance, policy, government relations as well as persons involved in the field of acquired brain injury. However, all submissions will be given serious consideration. A Call for Board Members for BIAC.

Deadline for submission of expressions of interest is September 15, 2010. Those persons selected to nomination to the Board will be asked to attend the Annual General Meeting to be held in Regina, Saskatchewan, on October 1, 2010.
Information regarding the Canada Council Art Bank
I am writing to provide you with information regarding the Canada Council Art Bank, which has announced that it will be purchasing works from Canadian artists in 2011.
This is an opportunity for us to promote pubic awareness of the many outstanding artists with disabilities in Canada, to inform these artists of a source of support available to them, and to showcase their achievements.

The Art Bank makes contemporary Canadian art accessible to as wide an audience as possible. It rents art suitable for display in an office environment to public and private sector clients in Canada and abroad. As a self-sufficient organization, it supports Canadian artists by purchasing works, through a system of peer assessment, from its earned revenues. With more than 18,000 works in its circulating collection, the Art Bank has the largest collection of contemporary Canadian art in the world.
The next deadline for purchases will be April 15, 2011. Interested artists should visit the New and Noteable or the Faits saillants sections of the Art Bank home page starting on December 15, 2010 to download the purchase program guidelines and application form.”

Further information about the Art Bank is available in English and French. There are text-only versions of the Art Bank web site in both English and French. Information regarding the next round of purchases of art works by the Art Bank is available in English and French.

Nancy Milroy-Swainson
Director General / Directrice générale
Office for Disability Issues /
Bureau de la condition des personnes handicapées
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada /
Ressources Humaines et Développement des compétences Canada
Tel: 819 994-5936
Fax: 819 994-8634
Safety Week and Good Old Newfoundland Hospitality
Newfoundland and Labrador always offers the opportunity to dig in and keep busy, this trip was no exception. While in town for The Jessica Campaign Safety Week 2010 with proceeds donated to BIAC, I also had the opportunity to prepare for the arrival of Brad Cownden as he finished his cross Canada tour and had many opportunities to meet with political and community leaders from all party lines.

Bell Island is a quant home to just over 4000 people today. Although in it’s hayday the tiny island boasted a population of over 12,000 Mayor Gary Gosine treated me to a personal History Tour of the Island while introducing me to the younger residents (many proudly displaying their skateboarding and cycling skills – sporting helmets they had received as donations from a local charity and our partner) C.A.N.D.O. At his invitation I returned on August for the beginning of the “Let them be Kids” sponsored Helping Hands park build. It seemed nearly all the residents of the island came out for this event and the park was raised in under 7 hours…complete with skate park and a discussion on where to place the TBI awareness plaques as thanks for the donations from The Jessica Campaign and C.A.N.D.O.

As part of Safety Week 2010, Harley Owners Group were riding to raise funds, we joined HOG at the start line for the 10th Annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad. This gave me the opportunity to meet MHA Paul Davis and his wife Cheryl as well as a brief chat with General Rick Hillier – each proud Newfoundlanders and both aware of survivors in their communities living with brain injury. On to the St. John’s Regatta with conversation with NDP Leader Jack Layton, Olivia Chow MP Trinity –Spadina and local Newfoundlander Jack Harris, MP St. John’s East. Then swooped away by Marlene Jennings MP and Judy Sgro MP who helped me through the crowds for an opportunity to give a gift to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. As part of Safety Week 2010 – 500 helmet give-away – I was able to reserve a red bicycle helmet and a promise that the party leader will ensure to give the correct message when next he’s photographed on his bicycle. Gift received in good humour followed by a note of thanks from Michael Ignatieff.

Throughout the week, there were many opportunities to meet brain injury partners as well as community across the North East Avalon, including council from the capital city and local celebrities. As Brad Cownden’s ferry arrived in Placentia – my plane was heading to the runway – although I didn’t get to meet and thank Brad for his ride for awareness, I was able to organize Scott Andrews MP – Avalon to join at the home of Jeannette Holman-Price for cocktails as we all thanked Brad for his efforts.
On a more sombre note, it’s important to the Brain Injury community to know of a recent loss, the father of BIAC board member Marina White passed away just as I arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador – I did have an opportunity to visit their family and pass on condolences from our members across the country. Marina has been a dedicated member of the BIAC community and continues to work together with NLBIA and BIAC in the interest of her passion – the adult survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador. Despite her grief Marina is back at work organizing outings for surivors each Wednesday as well as plans for upcoming fundraisers and speaking engagements. Best wishes to Marina and her family.
CIHI’s report on Supporting Informal Caregivers—The Heart of Home Care, 2007–2008
Brief Description:
The Data Development and Research Dissemination Division (DDRDD) is announcing the release of Supporting Informal Caregivers—The Heart of Home Care, 2007–2008 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) on August 26, 2010.
This report examines the prevalence of distress among those caring for 128,000 Canadian seniors who also receive publicly funded home care services. The study examines the relationships between the client’s health status and caregiver distress, highlighting those who are most at risk.
The material will be available on CIHI’s website at 3:00 pm (ET) on August 26, 2010 and the Department’s Data Analysis and Information System (DAIS) will be updated shortly thereafter.
Document Publication Date: 2010-08-26
Document Deletion Date: 2011-08-23
Category: Headline News
Author Branch/Agency: SPB
Responsible Organization: Applied Research and Analysis Directorate
Approved By: Margaret Miller/HC-SC/GC/CA
Contact: Joelle Bellfoy/HC-SC/GC/CA, Telephone Number: ( 613 ) 946-7848
The 2nd Bi-Annual Brain & Behaviour Conference hosted by the SickKids will be held July 12th-14th, 2011 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel.
The SickKids Symposium on Brain Injury in Children is a three day clinical and research symposium of extraordinary scope, in which a remarkable array of highly accomplished world class speakers representing an eclectic range of medical and scientific expertise will combine to present a one-of-a-kind event in Pediatric Neuroscience. This is a rigorous academic meeting that is designed for anyone interested in the developing brain including neuroscientists, paediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, neonatologists, neuroradiologists, pyschiatrists, psychologists, postdoctoral fellows, residents and graduate students. The program will include the latest cutting edge research discoveries, clinical practices and treatments and will address controversies in a number of important domains of brain injury in children. Building on the success of the 2009 inaugural event, this biannual conference has quickly established itself as a destination, the place to be, for anyone with a serious interest in childhood brain injury who wishes to stay on the cutting edge of scientific and technological advances in this field.

Tuesday July 12, 2011
The second biannual conference on Brain Injury in Children will be kicked off with a full day dedicated to Pre- and Peri-natal Brain Injury, specifically, peri-natal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. The question of whether the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) criteria/guidelines are outdated in the face of neuro-imaging advances will be critically evaluated. This question will be considered from many angles including obstetrics (Mary D’Alton – Chair of Obstetrics at Columbia University Medical Centre), neurological evidence (Steven Miller – Senior Clinician Scientist at British Columbia Children’s Hospital) and neuroimaging/radiological impact using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)(Terrie Inders – Neuroradiologist at Washington Children’s Hospital).

A Round Table discussion will follow, facilitated by the Honourable Justice Colin Campbell (Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada) and will include Mr. Richard Halpern (Thompson Rogers), Mr. Tom Curry (Canadian Medical Protective Association), Mr. William Carter (Borden Ladner Gervais Canada) and the medical discussants, Drs. D’Alton, Inders and Miller.

The afternoon session will begin with a keynote lecture by Shoo Lee, Head of Neonatology at SickKids and Paediatrician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital. Following this, there will be three breakout sessions – Track 1 (Medical Legal) will focus on a facts scenario where delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and formulate strategy, based on the information from the morning session, develop the anatomy of a lawsuit and illustrate how causation issues are approached (Tom Curry, Richard Halpern, Carter Snead – Head Division of Neurology, SickKids, William Carter). Track 2 (Scientific/Clinical) will focus further on the radiological manifestations of brain injury in the pre-term infant (Terrie Inders) and on predicting outcomes of neonatal encephalopathy (Steven Miller). Track 3 (Research) will examine the current research on neonatal brain injury and include a basic science aspect (Frances Jensen – Children’s Hospital Boston and Mary D’Alton).

Following the adjournment of the first day, delegates will be formally welcomed and have the opportunity to network during the cocktail welcome reception that will include an invited poster session.

Wednesday July 13, 2011
The morning session will focus on
Non-accidental Brain Injury in Children with a keynote lecture by Rachel Berger (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) who will include her brain biomarkers research. The topic of non-accidental brain injury will be considered from many angles including forensic evidence, mimics and controversies (Michael Pollanen, Chief Forensic Pathologist and Director of the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Toronto), radiological manifestations (Patrick Barnes, Stanford University), psychosocial outcomes (Vicki Anderson – Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne Australia), approach to the diagnosis of non-accidental brain injury in children (Michelle Shouldice, Director Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program, SickKids), and computational and experimental techniques used to determine functional and structural injury thresholds and what this tells us about the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury (Susan Margulies Professor of Bioengineering and Neurosurgery University of Pennsylvania).

The afternoon session will focus on Head Injury in Sport and will begin with a State-of-the-Art Science & Technology Research Lecture by Adrian Owen (Senior Scientist University of Cambridge, England – one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists who has been recruited to The University of Western Ontario in London Ontario). The topic of Head Injury in Sport will be considered from many angles. Ann McKee (Neuropathologist Boston University) will discuss athletic chronic toxic encephalopathy and neurodegenerative disease caused by repetitive trauma to the brain and Tina Duhaime (Massachusetts’s General Hospital, Boston) will review her ongoing multicenter, multi-year study using athletes with instrumented helmets to study the effects, both short-term and more long-term, on single and repeated impacts in various contexts.

Three tracks will follow: Track 1 will focus on Outcomes with Alain Ptito discussing the neuropsychiatric sequalae of traumatic brain injury (Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University), Paul Comper discussing neuropsychological outcomes of minor head trauma (Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) and Jill Hunter discussing the use of radiological techniques, such as DTI, in determining outcome in minor head trauma (Texas Children’s Hospital).

Track 2 will focus on Prevention with Ron Barr discussing intervention models (Canada Research Chair in Community Child Health Research, Child and Family Research Institute Vancouver British Columbia), Jamie Kissick will discuss concussion recognition, assessment and management in adolescents (Canadian Medical Protective Association), and Gerry Gioia will discuss his experience in developing traumatic brain injury prevention tools with the Centre for Disease Control (Paediatric neuropsychologist, Director, Concussion Program at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington).

Thursday July 14, 2011
The morning session will focus on the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury with a keynote lecture by Patrick Kochanek (University of Pittsburgh Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research) who will talk about the effect of hypothermia on drugs re absorption, metabolism and elimination. The management of severe traumatic brain injury will be further discussed from different angles. Anne-Marie Guerguerian (SickKids) will talk about neuromonitoring techniques, David Adelson (Phoenix Children’s Hospital) will talk about decompressive craniotomy, Cecil Hahn (SickKids) will discuss the use and abuse of continuous EEG video monitoring in children in the intensive care setting, Sam Shemie (Montreal Children’s Hospital) will discuss the neurological determination of brain death and national guidelines and Patrick Kochanek will, in a second talk, discuss brain biomarkers. This session will wrap up with a debate between David Adelson and Sam Shemie as to whether we should monitor intracranial pressure (ICP) or cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) in children with severe traumatic brain injury.

The afternoon session will focus on Non-traumatic Causes of Brain Injury in Children with a State-of-the-Art Medical Lecture by Brenda Banwell (SickKids) on demyelinating diseases in children. Many further causes of non-traumatic brain injury in children will be discussed and include stroke (Gabrielle deVeber – SickKids), hydrocephalus (Jim Drake – SickKids), epilepsy (Carter Snead – SickKids), brain tumors (Jim Rutka – SickKids), and depression & anxiety, as a consequence of brain injury, (Paul Arnold – SickKids). Finally, Freda Miller (SickKids) will discuss stem cells and neuroregeneration, and Steven Kernie (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre) will talk about the relevance of stem cell therapy research to children with brain injury.
Teen concussion treatments out of date: report
Tralee Pearce
From Monday’s Globe and Mail Published on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 12:01AM EDT Last updated on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 12:08AM EDT

Gone are the days when a coach could do an on-the-spot diagnosis of a teenager who had taken a ball or elbow to the head, and then send the player back to the field in a matter of minutes.

In a new report, aimed at members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, two researchers at Washington University’s medical school are advising pediatricians to discard many outdated procedures, and to take a more cautious approach to the treatment of concussion, which is a disturbance in brain function caused by direct or indirect force to the head.

“Even though they may seem symptom-free, their brain may not be recovered,” says one of those researchers, Dr. Mark Halstead, an assistant professor in orthopedics and pediatrics at the university, who in the past has trained as a sports physician and worked with teen football players.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the report draws on the most up-to-date research on diagnosing and treating sports-related concussions in children.

Concussion results in a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. Based on North American estimates, about 425,000 Canadian children experience recreation- and sports-related concussions a year. But concussion is tricky to diagnose because the signs can be easily overlooked. Symptoms include headache, nausea, feeling “in a fog,” difficulty concentrating and being more emotional or anxious.

“It is an area that for a long time people just down-played,” says Dr. Halstead, who is also the team physician for the St. Louis Rams, on the phone from Providence, R.I., where the Rams were playing the Patriots. “You got dinged, you got your bell rung. It was considered part of the game.”

A new study appearing in the same issue of Pediatrics found that of about 502,000 U.S. emergency-department visits by eight-to-19 year-olds for concussion, roughly half were sports-related. Among eight-to-13-year-olds, sports-related concussions accounted for close to 60 per cent of all their concussions – and were due mostly to football.

The new AAP guidelines are largely based on policies agreed upon by medical experts at a major symposium on concussion in sport in Zurich in 2008. They include a diagnostic tool called the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2), an update of a 2005 version.

In one of the recommendations, the experts urge a more detailed definition of concussion to combat common myths.

A concussion can be caused not just by a blow to the head, but also by a body blow that causes the head to snap the same way. Loss of consciousness is not common, and neuro-imaging, such as MRI or CT, will show no abnormalities.

The report also reminds pediatricians that some diagnostic tools are out of date, including a once widely used three-tier grading system.

Another system dividing concussions into “simple” and “complex” categories is deemed to be arbitrary.

Dr. Halstead says he still sees doctors using the old tools and determining that an athlete can return to play before he’s ready. Research shows that a first concussion increases the likelihood of a second – and a second injury while a child is still symptomatic can be fatal.

Another major recommendation is the notion of “brain rest” – not just physical rest, but a break from TV, video games and school.

Elaine Keuner, a Niagara-area mother of 13-year-old twin boys, has been through a concussion with each one. She has become an advocate for hockey safety with the non-profit ThinkFirst Canada.

“The word has gotten out there because of the NHL players who have come forward,” she says. “There’s still a lot of work to be done and unfortunately a lot of hockey and sports associations have got to take it upon themselves to educate. And parents have got to look into it.”

Family doctors are especially important to reach because they are the ones often faced with athletes asking for a doctor’s note to get back on the field or the ice, says Mark Aubry, the Ottawa-based chief medical officer of the International Ice Hockey Federation. “It’s difficult for them to read everything and know everything,” says Dr. Aubry, who was part of the Zurich symposium and discussed the issue at last week’s World Hockey Summit in Toronto.