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Wisdom of Life

2015 SPiN course a huge success!

The HSF Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery delivered its very popular Stroke Program in Neurorecovery (SPiN) course this week for about 40 trainees from stroke recovery research centres across Canada.

Participants met in Toronto for two action-packed days and talks by leading stroke recovery researchers. They also took part in hands-on lab sessions that exposed them to the newest research.

Among presentations were discussions on:

  • the trajectory of a stroke patient from time of onset through to the emergency room;
  • novel stroke interventions, including the potential for high intensity focused ultrasound imaging,
  • the importance of integrating KT and implementation considerations right from the start; and,
  • the relationship between brain imaging and behaviour – from individual patients to Big Data.

Trainees learned about:

  • transcranial magnetic stimulation;
  • carotid Doppler imaging and exercise;
  • mouse brain slicing using a microtome;
  • mounting a brain slice on a slide;
  • animal behaviour and cognitive testing;
  • cognitive assessments and treatments, including dysfunctions with language and executive function;
  • balance and mobility assessments and treatments;
  • robotic arm rehabilitation;
  • new techniques for assessing and treating swallowing difficulties;
  • how The Virtual Brain can be used to model brain network activity following stroke;
  • advanced brain imaging analysis techniques,
  • multisensory feedback techniques to improve stroke recovery,
  • functional electrical stimulation; and,
  • remote rehab monitoring with wearable technologies.

They met, listened to and talked with three stroke survivors about their personal experiences. And they toured the iDAPT centre at Toronto Rehab, including the impressive CEAL – Challenging Environment Assessment Lab – with an environment that simulates walking and driving and climate controls.

Huge thanks to CPSR’s National Trainee Association, its Executive Committee and co-chairs Dr. Kelly Tennant of the University of Victoria and Marcos Rodrigues of McGill University, SPiN Workshop Committee Advisors Drs. Jodi Edwards and Greg Silasi for their input and assistance throughout the planning process, Karen Fan for administrative help and to Farrell Leibovitch, CPSR Director of Research and Training Programs.

What the participants said:

“The 2015 SPIN conference was a remarkable experience for learning what the researchers at Sunnybrook and Toronto Rehab can offer for project collaboration.”
“Toronto Rehab and the iDAPT facilities… highlight of the course.”
“It was an excellent experience.”
“…thank you and the team for putting together such a great 2 days. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned a lot too!”
“The highlight of my time, however, was hands down the lunch talk [with stroke survivors] we had today. It was such a powerful way to tie together the workshop”

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