More about the BHIO project

Project context

The human brain is remarkable. It allows us to sense and interact with our surroundings, think, communicate and move. It has an amazing ability to adapt, is capable of self-repair and can outperform any supercomputer. Because of all the things our brains are capable of, a healthy brain is essential for general health, well-being, productivity and creativity across the entire life. Despite the brain's exquisite function, there are a number of ways for the brain and related central nervous system to become altered.

Brain disorders are chronic, lifelong conditions that impact individuals and their families.

Through 2022, the Ontario Brain Institute, using data sets and analytic services available through ICES, launched the Brain Health in Ontario (BHIO) Project to raise awareness about the current landscape of brain health in Ontario.

Using health administrative data from 2019, we estimated the (1) the number of people in Ontario with various brain disorders, (2) the associated direct cost of all publicly provided health care services used by individuals with brain disorders relative to the general Ontario population, and (3) the interrelationships among these brain disorders and mental health and addiction service use. We consulted with content experts and advocacy organizations to contextualize this information in the real-world.

The 13 brain disorders assessed in BHIO include:

cerebral palsy - dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) - epilepsy - malignant brain tumour - motor neuron disease - multiple sclerosis - non-malignant brain tumour - parkinsonism - schizophrenia - spina bifida - traumatic spinal cord injury - stroke & transient ischemic attack - traumatic brain injury (including concussion)

We present this evidence to inform program and resource planning, policy, and decision-making. Optimizing brain health creates positive social and economic impacts, all of which contribute to greater well-being and helps to advance society.

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The Ontario Brain Institute first set out in 2015 to create a comprehensive snapshot of individual brain disorders throughout Ontario. This first report completed in partnership with ICES covers years 2004 to 2010.