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Brain Health Conditions

Acquired Brain Injury
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is any damage to the brain after birth not caused by a congenital or degenerative disease. Trauma, such as from a fall or accident, stroke, aneurysm, tumour, exposure to toxins and infections of the brain are some common causes of ABI. The effects of a brain injury can be disabling. The services listed here offer a variety of rehabilitation, social and vocational supports and community reintegration.

Addictions
Addictions are a psychological or physiological overdependence on a substance or habit. The programs listed in this section provide information about the dependence on substances as well as addictive activities. A variety of assessment resources, referral and treatment services for people with addictions are provided. These resources include support groups, residential facilities and information lines.

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
Dementia is the loss of intellectual functions, such as thinking, remembering and reasoning, of sufficient severity to interfere with a person's daily functioning. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or physical conditions. Some of the better known diseases that produce dementia include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Relief for the caregiver becomes essential when individuals with dementia are unable to care for themselves. Services are available that offer information, support and respite care.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
A syndrome, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a nervous system disease that attacks the nerve cells. It is marked by muscle weakness and atrophy.

Autism
Autism is a developmental disorder affecting the brain`s normal development of a person`s social and communication skills. Diagnosis of autism usually occurs in early childhood.

Brain Tumours
A brain tumour is any abnormal mass that results from the increased multiplication of brain cells. Benign brain tumours do not contain cancer cells. Malignant brain tumours contain cancer cells.

Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a non-progressive paralysis that is caused by developmental defects in the brain or trauma at birth, resulting in loss of muscular control, spasms, weakness and speech problems.

Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological condition which causes seizures produced by a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures vary in severity from person to person.

Heart Disease
Heart disease includes coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, valve disorders, angina and congestive heart disease.

Huntington Disease
Huntington disease (HD) is a hereditary brain disorder with devastating effects on both mind and body. A form of the disease called "Juvenile Huntington Disease" can appear in young people under 20 years of age. Currently there is no cure for the disease, nor treatment that prevents or slows its progress.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision.

Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's Disease is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative illness characterized by: tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement and difficulty with balance.

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by disintegration of the processes of thinking, contact with reality, and emotional responsiveness. Delusions and hallucinations are common, especially those that produce the feeling of a loss of personal identity.

Stroke
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Strokes can cause mild to severe physical, emotional or mental disabilities. Rehabilitation can help people who have had a stroke to recover function and live as independently as possible. Stroke prevention teaches you how to reduce your risk through medical treatment and lifestyle changes.

Signs of a stroke can include: sudden weakness, numbness or tingling, sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech, sudden vision problems, sudden severe headache, sudden dizziness or loss of balance. Stroke is a medical emergency, call 911. A quick response improves the chances of surviving and making a full recovery.

Suicide
Programs listed here help people who have survived a suicide attempt, or have experienced the suicide of a loved one (see also other services under Bereavement). Others provide suicide prevention programs.