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The Ontario Brain Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences pool their strengths to make an impact on brain disorders in Ontario


Brain disorders are chronic, lifelong conditions that heavily impact individuals and their families. Strikingly, brain disorders account for roughly a third of total years lost to death and disability from all diseases globally, more than the combined number for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Considering both the personal and societal tolls of brain disorders, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) have partnered on several initiatives that aim to make a positive impact on brain health in Ontario. These initiatives will be invigorated by the Ontario Government’s new $75 million dollar strategy that will support and build on Ontario’s strengths in health informatics.

Measuring the Impact of Brain Disorders in Ontario

In 2015, ICES and OBI released a comprehensive report on individual brain disorders throughout Ontario. The report encompasses 13 brain disorders and gives estimates for: how many people are living with each disorder and their population data, such as age, sex, and income; the number of new cases identified each year; and an overview of direct healthcare costs associated with each disorder.

In addition to raising awareness about the growing prevalence of brain disorders, the report data has served as a tool for planning health services and support in Ontario.

Linking Data to Advance Knowledge

OBI collects rich neuroscience research data from its five research programs focused on: epilepsy, depression, cerebral palsy, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

Data are shared on a common platform called Brain-CODE. This unique resource provides neuroscience researchers with information to help uncover the underlying mechanisms and predict treatment outcomes of brain disorders.

ICES holds the administrative health records of more than 13 million Ontarians; these records are coded to protect privacy and can be linked to various databases. While OBI’s data are rich and standardized to facilitate cross-disease comparisons, medical history and demographic information from participants remains limited. To fill this ‘broad data’ gap, OBI has teamed-up with ICES to provide a comprehensive view of health and healthcare delivery in Ontario. With a mutual interest in using data to understand brain disorders and their burden on the healthcare system, OBI and ICES have agreed to collaborate on a secure linkage of their data sets.

About the Ontario Brain Institute

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially-funded, not-for-profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care. We create convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. For the latest OBI news, follow us on Twitter: @OntarioBrain

About the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences

The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) is an independent, non-profit organization that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of healthcare issues. Our unbiased evidence provides measures of health system performance, a clearer understanding of the shifting healthcare needs of Ontarians, and a stimulus for discussion of practical solutions to optimize scarce resources. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad, and is widely used by government, hospitals, planners, and practitioners to make decisions about care delivery and to develop policy. For the latest ICES news, follow us on Twitter: @ICESOntario

Media contacts

Deborah Creatura
Media Advisor, ICES
[email protected]
(o) 416-480-4780 or (c) 647-406-5996

Michelle Wilson
Senior Program Lead, Communications, Ontario Brain Institute
[email protected]


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