Brain Awareness Week highlights advances in research, community involvement

As diagnosis rates of Alzheimer’s and dementia continue to rise, researchers in the University of Lethbridge’s Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) are making major advances in understanding how the brain works and what can be done to improve overall brain health.

The community is invited to participate in Brain Awareness Week, March 11-17, to learn more about these advances and what they mean for the future.

“Brain diseases and brain health represent some of the most costly and important problems affecting Canada society. Brain conditions now cost us more than cancer and heart diseases combined and this cost will triple in our generation,” says Dr. Robert Sutherland, neuroscience researcher and CCBN director. “Researchers at CCBN are working to understand how the brain works, to predict, prevent, and help families with these problems. There is no more important contribution we could imagine.”

Brain Awareness Week is an annual global event with a goal of increasing public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. In Lethbridge, the week features a free, off-campus public talk, the CCBN Open House and Brain Awareness Fair and for 2019, a special keynote address sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and North West Territories.

“The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories provides “hope for today” through our support services and programs, education and information and “hope for tomorrow” through our investment in research,” says a statement from the society. “We are pleased to partner with CCBN’s Brain Awareness Week featuring Jay Ingram, and a panel discussion on dementia.”

The week presents an opportunity for the community to come together and see what work is being done on some of today’s biggest health-care challenges and how support of ongoing brain research activities can have a positive effect on the future health of our society.

Free Public Talk
How your Brain Maps the World
Dr. G. Campbell Teskey, Hotchkiss Brain Institute & Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Calgary
Tuesday, March 12 | 7 p.m.
Lethbridge Senior Centre Organization (LSCO) | 500 11 Street South

Your brain takes in information through your eyes, ears and skin and then makes sense of it. How is this done? It turns out that your brain is organized to make maps of the sensory world. This lecture will describe how your brain creates maps for seeing, hearing, touching, as well as moving, and what happens when something goes wrong.

CCBN Open House and Brain Awareness Fair
Saturday, March 16 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience
University of Lethbridge | 4401 University Drive West

Everyone is welcome at this free event, which includes activities for children. CCBN researchers are happy to talk about their research, tour people through the research facility and answer any questions.

Keynote Lecture
Dementia and Your Brain Health
Jay Ingram, science broadcaster and writer and former co-host of Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet
Saturday, March 16 | 2 p.m.
Grand Ballroom | Sandman Signature Hotel Lethbridge Lodge | 320 Scenic Drive South

This event features guest speaker Jay Ingram, science broadcaster and writer who co-hosted Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet for 16 years. Join him to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and improving overall brain health.

Following the talk, a panel discussion will focus on supporting those impacted by the disease, highlighting research developments, caregiver supports and how we as a community can come together to ensure a brighter future for those impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Tickets for this talk are $5 each, and are available at, the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization, Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre and the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and North West Territories. Proceeds from the event will be directed to the University of Lethbridge Alzheimer’s Disease Catalyst Fund.