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Why is this project important?
It was once believed that there was no way to fix a damaged brain. The good news? Recent scientific research has shown that it’s possible to improve and repair the mind with brain exercises.
Our experts and trainees at the Brain Repair Centre are working to understand which exercises help improve cognitive abilities such as attention and memory. Our goal is to help therapists develop personalized treatment plans for patients who have problems with this after stroke, or due to other diseases, like Parkinsons. The treatment plans will help patients regain independence in everyday activities and improve their quality of life.
The Cognitive Repair Kit is designed to make brain rehabilitation at home possible. Our current research is focused on developing tools that help us identify the most appropriate activities and exercises for each individual based on their unique needs.
To develop these tools, we are working on a number of projects.
For example, one project aims to develop a set of computer activities that can provide an ‘attention report card’. It highlights an individual’s strengths and weaknesses when completing these activities that require focus and concentration.
In another project, we’re developing and testing brain exercises to improve attention, and thinking. Research volunteers complete these exercises daily at home using their own computers.
When we can reliably predict how the exercises will improve how the brain works, it will be possible to put together a unique treatment plan based on a person’s specific needs as identified in the attention report card.
Who will benefit?
The Cognitive Repair Kit will help individuals affected by stroke or other brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease to improve their attention, memory and thinking. Doing this will improve their quality of life. Family and friends of these individuals can also benefit by knowing that their loved ones can work towards independence.
In the future, our research team hopes to expand the application of the Cognitive Repair Kit. Our goal is to develop exercises for various other conditions as well—like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The team is also looking at the option of using the Cognitive Repair Kit to aid a healthy aging process for seniors.