e-bulletin July 2016

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NeuroDevNet e-bulletin July 2016 - News on the brain!

In this issue

A. International Cerebral Palsy Conference in Stockholm

B. Former NeuroDevNet Post-Doc Receives CIHR New Investigator Award

C. BNBD to Launch Clinical Trials

D. KT Core chairs Impact Session at NCE Knowledge Mobilization Day

E. Parents' Views at Odds with Treatment Choices for Children


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7th Annual Brain Development Conference: Sept. 28-30, 2016

Important Deadlines

Early bird registration for the Annual Brain Development Conference closes on July 31st. To register now at a reduced rate, click here

Are you interested in showcasing your research in a poster presentation at the conference? The deadline for abstract submission is July 15th at 5:00PDT. Click here for more information on how to submit. 


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A. International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities: Stockholm, 1-4 June 2016

NeuroDevNet's cerebral palsy investigators and trainees were a significant presence at a major international gathering of CP and developmental researchers held at the Karolinska Institute June 1-4. 

A historical meeting of meetings among major cerebral palsy initiatives, the event included 14 keynotes; 46 mini-symposia, panel discussions or controversies; 21 instructional courses; 140 oral presentations; 447 posters and 7 pre-conference symposia. 

Interviewed upon her return to Canada, Dr. Darcy Fehlings, who chaired a number of sessions, said "Canada rocked" the conference. "The thing that I probably was most excited about is that we really are bridging clinical and preclinical gaps to drive the field forward. That's something unique in the world." 

Read more here

B. Former NeuroDevNet Post-Doc Receives CIHR New Investigator Award

Dr. Jill Zwicker was one of 40 investigators to recieve a CIHR New Investigator Award in the 2015 competition. Dr. Zwicker's proposal focuses on the understanding and rehabilitation of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a condition characterized by difficulties  with movement and coordination in activities of daily life. 

This competitive award will provide $60,000 worth of support for 5 years, for a total of $300,000. Using this money, Zwicker aims to improve our understanding and develop treatment approaches for those affected by DCD.

Read more here

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C. Better Nights Better Days to Launch Clinical Trials of Sleep Intervention 

Sleep researchers Penny Corkum and Shelly Weiss are customizing an evidence-based sleep intervention, "Better Nights Better Days" (BNBD) for children with neurodisabilities. 

Several weeks before launching a randomized controlled trial of BNBD for typically developing children with sleep issues, such as difficulty falling asleep and repeated waking, Drs. Corkum and Weiss convened a June 27/28 meeting in Halifax to discuss program adaptation and intervention methods for children with autism, cerebral palsy, FASD and ADHD.

The sleep team is now contacting partner organizations, healthcare professionals, and families of children with neurodisabilities to stimulate recruitment for a clinical trial slated to begin in 2017.

Canadian families with typically developing children aged 1-10 facing sleep challenges can still participate in the BNBD-TD project, due to launch August 1, 2016.

For more information, click here.  

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D. Knowledge Translation Core chairs Impact Session at NCE Knowledge Mobilization Day

On June 28-29 the Fifth Annual Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum was held in Toronto, where 230 professionals gathered for an in-depth consideration of the themes of structures, processes, and technology for knowledge mobilization. KT Lead David Phipps and KT Manager Anneliese Poetz co-led a workshop showcasing the Core's hybrid project planning tool, being used by four high impact projects within the Network to maximize uptake and implementation of their research. 

Read more here

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E. Parents' Views on Health Information Often at Odds with Treatment Choices for their Children

NeuroDevNet neuroethics researchers have found that the health information parents seek and trust are at odds with the advice they use to make treatment choices when contemplating stem cell interventions for their children with autism and cerebral palsy. 

"A Dichotomy of Information-Seeking and Information-Trusting: Stem Cell Interventions and Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders," published in Stem Cell Reviews and Reports on June 10, 2016, identified an approach senior author Dr. Judy Illes describes as "anything that would help." 

The divergence between a strong contention that researchers are trustworthy, and research is the most reliable source of information on the safety and effectiveness of interventions, and the parent's admission they would still pursue stem cell treatment overseas did not surprise Dr. Illes. Despite efforts to get accurate information out to people who need it most, people are still vulnerable to undependable information from invalidated sources. "I think we have to do a better job," she observed. 

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NeuroDevNet is funded by the Networks of Centres of Excellence, a program of the federal government to advance science and technology. NeuroDevNet proudly acknowledges host support from The University of British Columbia and the Child & Family Research Institute.

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