For media enquiries or to connect with researchers in the MacVicar Lab at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, please contact Emily Wight, Communications Manager.

For general enquiries about MacVicar Lab activities, please contact Katherine Rhodes at

Testing your cognition online: What's the harm? Jan 16, 2015

A Google search of your symptoms brings you to an online quiz that promises to assess if you have a cognitive impairment, or to determine your risk for dementia. “What’s the harm?” you might think as you click through the questions, which can range from a checklist of symptoms to tests of your memory and questions about your personal risk factors.

Finding a link between chronic brain injury and cognitive decline Jan 13, 2015

Can a concussion cause Alzheimer’s disease? No, but research suggests that repeated concussions from brain trauma can cause damage leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.

“In the past, we didn’t understand the severity of concussions – now we understand that there is damage, and there can be long-term consequences to traumatic brain injury,” says Dr. Cheryl Wellington, a researcher at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health whose lab studies risk factors for dementia including a history of brain injury.

Feature: Synapse of Discovery Jan 5, 2015

The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health is highlighted in this Winter 2015 feature on

Changing the pace of memory loss Dec 9, 2014

Researchers at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, in collaboration with scientists at the Chongqing Medical University in Chongqing, China, recently discovered a way to slow the deterioration of memory. These findings significantly advance our understanding of the mechanism by which memory in our brain decays, and are the first to establish an opportunity for intervention to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias.

Turning some Ideas on their Head: Dr. Adele Diamond, TEDxWestVancouverED Nov 26, 2014

Dr. Adele Diamond speaks to the power of executive function and its impact on student learning in this TEDxWestVancouverEd talk. 

NMO Clinic and Research Program joins multi-centre study Nov 20, 2014

Collaborative International Research in Clinical and Longitudinal Experience for NMO Studies

In North America, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) affects four in 100,000 people, and can cause loss of vision in one or both eyes (optic neuritis) and numbness and weakness in the arms and legs (transverse myelitis). It is an unpredictable and chronic illness that is often confused with Multiple Sclerosis, but NMO is a distinct disease requiring different treatment. 

Teen girls playing soccer
Teenage brains may be more vulnerable to lasting injury Nov 19, 2014

Young athletes who experience concussions may need to wait longer than currently recommended before getting ‘back in the game’ because of the unique brain developmental stage of adolescence, according to new research. The study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, shows that current adult-based standards for assessing the effects of concussions and length of time to recovery may be inadequate for adolescents.

Predicting adverse drug reactions in patients with Multiple Sclerosis Nov 17, 2014

Interferon beta (IFN-β) is a disease-modifying drug used to reduce the risk of a future relapse (attacks) in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) by modulating the immune system. And while IFN-β is considered safe, it does hold a small possibility of side effects, including liver injury. While 30 to 60 per cent of individuals with MS treated with IFN-β will experience elevations in their liver enzyme test results, these elevations are often transient and disappear even with continued IFN-β treatment. 

Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Information Day Oct 23, 2014

The third annual Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Information Day will be held at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) on November 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Researcher profile: Dr. Haakon Nygaard Oct 21, 2014

Dr. Haakon Nygaard comes to the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) from Yale University, where he completed his internship in Internal Medicine, Residency in Neurology, and a PhD in Investigative Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Strittmatter. He joined the Yale faculty as an Assistant Professor in Neurology, and during this time he co-founded the first Alzheimer’s clinic at Yale, and was the founding director of the Yale Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry fellowship program. Dr.