New OBI resource provides insight into 13 brain disorders

Brain disorders are a leading cause of disability worldwide. In Canada they have a greater impact than both heart disease and cancer on the number of years lived in less-than-ideal health.

To address these challenges, the Ontario Brain Institute, using data sets and analytic services available through ICES, recently completed the Brain Health in Ontario (BHIO) project to identify knowledge gaps and provide insight into the profile of 13 brain disorders in Ontario. Health administrative data from 2011 to 2019 was used to obtain a snapshot of the current state of these brain disorders including:

• the number of people living with a brain disorder and the number of new people identified each year,

• the cost to the healthcare system, and

• overlap between different brain disorders.

These findings have been shared with content experts and advocacy organizations to contextualize this information in the real-world.

The 13 brain disorders presented in this online resource include:

• Non-malignant brain tumour,

• Malignant brain tumour,

• Cerebral palsy,

• Dementia (including Alzheimer's disease),

• Epilepsy,

• Motor neuron disease,

• Multiple sclerosis,

• Parkinsonism (including Parkinson's disease),

• Schizophrenia,

• Spina bifida,

• Spinal cord injury,

• Stroke and transient ischemic attack, and

• Traumatic brain injury (including concussion).

When navigating the BHIO website, located at, users can read about the 13 brain disorders on an individual page built for each disorder analyzed. This presentation of information was designed for discovery and understanding of the societal impact of specific brain disorders, as well as for comparison with other conditions. Easily accessible infographics and chart packs for use in research, advocacy, decision making, and caregiving efforts are also available for download.

“The data collected through the Brain Health in Ontario project, in combination with other estimates, show that one in three Ontarians are living with a brain disorder. This number emphasizes the importance of addressing the brain health needs of all Canadians,” said Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, President & Scientific Director of the Ontario Brain Institute.

“Considering that one-third of us will develop a brain disorder in our lifetime, the time is NOW to approach brain health with a new lens and advocate for a team science approach that prioritizes strategic collaboration between stakeholders across public and private sectors.”

OBI invites researchers, advocates, decision makers, caregivers, and individuals living with brain disorders to explore the information presented in the Brain Health in Ontario project to advance understanding of brain disorders and enhance care for those impacted by them.

To connect with a member of the Ontario Brain Institute team about the Brain Health in Ontario project, email