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Mental Health

Ep. 196: Cognition Cures: In Life & In the Lab

Dr. Sandra Black and Dr. JoAnne McLaurin

Studying the brain has never been an easy feat.

Researchers haven’t had steady access to growing human brain tissue—until now. The team at Sunnybrook’s Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program is making impressive progress with the help of their lab-grown organoids, which mimic living human neurons and allow scientists to more accurately study the way different conditions affect the brain.

Here, Dr. Peter Nord explores how this advancement could change the way we understand Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and how your lifestyle choices might affect whether or not you actually develop a cognitive disease. He’s joined by renowned neurologist Dr. Sandra Black, who leads the Dr. Sandra Black Centre For Brain Resilience and Recovery, as well as the Director of Sunnybrook’s Biological Sciences Platform. Dr. JoAnne McLaurin.



03:02 Meet Dr. Sandra Black, world renowned neurologist

05:06 Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research program and brain organoids

06:50 Dr. JoAnne McLaurin is growing neurons in her lab.

09:51 Each case of dementia is different.

11:46 Brain-protective foods

13:23 The best exercise for your brain (and how much)

16:48 Why high blood pressure can lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s

18:55 How to make sure your sleep is protecting your brain

20:19 Social engagement can slow Alzheimer’s progression

24:50 An Alzheimer’s blood test is in development

27:44 Medcan is doing whole genome sequencing to catch dementia early

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