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Brain Matters: A Panel discussion about Concussions, Brain Injury, Epilepsy, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s, Organized by CABGU
Brain Matters: A Panel discussion about brain injuries, diseases and disorders like Epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Autism-their early detection and possible prevention

Winnipeg - Sunday, March 29, 2015

On Sunday, March 29th, approximately 250 people filled the auditorium at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue as CABGU Manitoba Region presented “Brain Matters,” a fascinating panel discussion with renowned experts about brain injuries, diseases and disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimers and autism and their early detection and possible prevention. By all accounts it was a world-class discussion and a wonderful opportunity for people to gain awareness about these issues and also to ask the experts many questions.

The audience learned that brain damage caused by a concussion has potential severe consequences and can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer's, epilepsy and Parkinson's. They were exposed to the cutting-edge research in neurosciences being conducted at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and learned that new approaches to early diagnosis and discovery of the biological origins of autism are being researched at BGU.

Participating in the panel discussion were:

- Dr. Alon Friedman, Professor of Neuroscience at Ben-Gurion University and currently the William Dennis Chair in Epilepsy Research and professor in the Department of Medical Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

- Dr. Michael Ellis, Medical Director, Pan Am Clinic Concussion Program in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

- Dr. Benedict Albensi, Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at University of Manitoba and Principal Researcher at St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg Manitoba.

- Jason Dzikowicz, President, Blue Bomber Alumni Association.

The lively discussion was skilfully moderated by Charles 'Chuck' LaFlèche, CEO, of St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

Jason Dzikowicz shared his story with the public: during his career as a football player, he suffered from nine concussions, and currently he is experiencing short-term memory loss. He said: “Many plays of important games I participated in, I can't remember. I can't remember many things from my past”.

Some of these medical problems are increasing in prevalence, especially Alzheimer's disease and sports-related brain injuries. The panel was unanimous in their view: after a concussion or brain injury, early detection is key to prevent these diseases from developing in the future.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has undertaken a mission to become a worldwide leader in the area of brain science. This year Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University in Winnipeg has set a fundraising goal of $250,000 to fund a Human Long-Term Brain Recording Unit, to be used in Professor Alon Friedman's brain research lab at BGU.

This system will allow for supervision of patients within research facilities and at home, while monitoring 24-hour brain activity. Findings from this monitoring program will allow researchers to gain greater insight into changes in brain activity that reflect neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders, leading to a better understanding of the concussed brain, early Alzheimer's disease, and children with suspected autism.

With the help of committed supporters like you, BGU can succeed in improving the quality of life for those affected (and potentially affected) by brain-related diseases and disorders.

Please consider supporting this crucial initiative and donate generously now!

For more details please contact CABGU Executive Director, Ariel Karabelnicoff at 204-942-7347 or by email:

To view all photos from the event, click here.

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