Creamy Turmeric Tea Improves Memory


In an interview with Dr Oz, television personality and noted neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta shared one of his secrets for keeping his memory sharp. Each night at bedtime, he enjoys a simple tea that includes turmeric, which is believed to aid the brain retain memory function. You can make Dr. Gupta’s Creamy Turmeric Tea yourself with just a few simple steps.


  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger

Warm the Almond Milk and add the rest of the ingredients for a comforting drink that will keep your brain sharp and help you live longer!

Source: Dr. Oz

Exercise plays an important role in ABI recovery


Contributed by Helen Rousso, Medical Exercise Specialist

Following a brain injury, individuals who exercise are typically less depressed and report better quality of life than those who don’t exercise.

A safe and effective exercise program can play a very important role in the rehabilitation process following a brain injury.  Regular physical activity can help improve your balance and coordination, reduce reliance on assistive devices, and enhance your ability to do daily activities and thus remain independent.

The key is to determine what type of exercise is best for you and to follow a program that accommodates and addresses your special medical concerns.

Range of motion exercises are a type of physical therapy that keeps the joints mobile and functioning. Range of motion exercises can be done by the individual, or with help from physical therapies in a method known as passive range of motion. Range of motion exercises help maintain strength and can be separated into short or long term goals.  Such exercises as simply extending and flexing the forearm or the lower leg help to maintain muscle tone and functioning ligaments and tendons that enable you to gradually regain strength or function of the limb over time.

One may recover from a traumatic brain  injury (TBI) more quickly if they exercise. As “The New York Times” reported in 1997, TBI patients who exercise are “significantly less depressed, better at cognitive thinking and physically healthier” than those who do not. Neuropsychologist Wayne Gordon indicates that patients who maintained their exercise routine had to display discipline, focus and motivation – attributes that carried over to the rest of their rehabilitation.

In one of his studies, A sample of 240 individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) (64 exercisers and 176 nonexercisers) and 139 individuals without a disability (66 exercisers and 73 nonexercisers).

It was found that the TBI exercisers were less depressed than nonexercising individuals with TBI, TBI exercisers reported fewer symptoms, and their self-reported health status was better than the nonexercising individuals with TBI. There were no differences between the two groups of individuals with TBI on measures of disability and handicap.

In conclusion, the findings suggest that exercise improves mood and aspects of health status but does affect aspects of disability and handicap.

Getting Started

-Talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program and ask for specific programming recommendations.
-Take all medications as recommended by your physician.
-The goals of your program should be to improve cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle strength and endurance, improve flexibility, and increase independence, mobility and ability to do daily activities.
-You may find that it is easier to focus on your exercise if you avoid busy, crowded locations.
-You may need to do some exercises such as cycling or walking with a work-out buddy if you have difficulty with balance or with finding your way throughout a community.
-Choose low-impact activities such as walking, cycling or water exercises, which involve large muscles groups and can be done continuously.
-Start slowly and gradually progress the intensity and duration of your workouts. -If your fitness level is low, start with shorter sessions (five to 10 minutes) and gradually build up to 20 to 60 minutes, three to five days per week.
-Perform resistance-training and stretching exercises two days per week.
-Take frequent breaks during activity if needed.

Exercise Cautions

-Avoid exercises that overload your joints or increase your risk of falling.
-Begin each exercise in a stable position and monitor your response before proceeding.
-Reduced motor control in your limbs may restrict your ability to do certain exercises.
-Exercise equipment may need to be modified to accommodate your specific needs.
-Always wear protective headgear when cycling or doing any other activity in which a fall is possible because the rate of a second head injury is three times greater after you have had one head injury.
-Don’t hesitate to ask for demonstrations or further explanations about how to perform exercises properly.
-Your exercise program should be designed to maximize the benefits with the fewest risks of aggravating your health or physical condition.

Citrus Baked Salmon


Serves Two

Preparation 10 Minutes

Cooking 20 Minutes


100g brown rice

2 slices lemon

2 slices orange

2 skinless salmon fillets (about 175g each)

1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill

1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped, plus 1/2 (half) tbsp oil from the jar

75ml dry white wine


1. Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6). Place the rice into a large saucepan with 200ml of cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat, season with sea salt to taste, and cover with the lid. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large shallow baking dish place 1 lemon slice and an orange slice, just overlapping, next to each other. Repeat with the other 2 slices.

3. Sit each salmon fillet on its own bed of citrus. Season each fillet with salt and pepper. In a small bowl mix the dill, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato oil together. Spoon the mixture over the top of the salmon fillets. Drizzle with the wine.

4. Place the baking dish into the oven and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until the salmon is opaque.

Serve drizzled with the cooking juices and the prepared rice.

Summer is peak season for wheel- and water-related injuries

Canadian Institute for Health Information press release

Number of cycling injuries remains stable over past decade but head injuries on the decline

July 28, 2011— Every day of the summer, an average of 45 Canadians are hospitalized for an injury resulting from a wheel- or water-based sport or recreational activity, according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Wheeled sports include cycling, roller skating, skateboarding and using scooters, while water-related activities include swimming, diving, kayaking and boating, among others.
[Read more...]

Matthew’s Story

By Deb Zigler, Kitchener, Ontario.
Reproduced from the Ontario Brain Injury Association newsletter.

The afternoon of June 8, 1995 would change our lives forever. A mother gets up in the morning and goes about her day, often not thinking about what could happen later on. I have a different perspective now and am grateful for every moment I have with my children and family. I will never take that for
granted again.

My oldest son, Matthew, who was then 17 and excited about summer holidays and exploring work opportunities, crashed his motorcycle. The accident happened in the parking lot outside our apartment; he wasn’t wearing a helmet and his then 15 year old brother Michael watched it happen. A neighbour rushed
to the scene and with Mike’s help, kept Matt alive until the ambulance arrived.

The local newspaper report the next day stated that the young man “suffered non-life threatening injuries.” Anyone who has observed a family member in a
coma and on life support understands that this is definitely life threatening!! To this day I can visualize the emergency room when I got there-my son, on a stretcher, covered in blood, clothes cut away, a nurse pushing air into his lungs with a bag, in a comatose state. I touched his arm, praying silently, tears streaming down my cheeks, that Matt would live. Michael was devastated and inconsolable, blaming himself for not, somehow preventing the accident.
[Read more...]

Who your team is and what they do

When someone suffers a brain injury, they and their loved ones are thrust into a confusing situation where they will be surrounded by many unfamiliar people. Each of these people will play an important role in the patient’s recovery and rehabilitation.

(M.D.) – The Physiatrist is a physician who is a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The physiatrist is the Team Leader who directs your care.

(RN) – Your Nurse is also a very important person. She/he will:

  • Assess you physically and obtain pertinent information necessary to design your personal care plan
  • Take care of you and instruct you and your family so that you will be as independent as possible. The concept of independence is very important for you and your family to understand, as nursing care is based on this goal. Your nurse will encourage you to do as much for yourself as possible – and then some!
  • Follow through with your other therapists’ recommendations for your care. After the first few days, you will be given a daily therapy schedule. You will be expected to keep your therapy appointments on your own whenever possible. If you are unable to get to your therapy appointments independently, a transporter will assist you.

The Case Manager is a vital member of your rehabilitation team. She/he will assist you with many aspects of your care, such as preparing and implementing your discharge plan, arranging meetings with you and your family, arranging a schedule for family observation and training days, working with other interdisciplinary team members, and working with your insurance carrier to communicate the rehab team’s short and long term goals. Your case manager will also arrange any equipment and/or home modifications that may be necessary.

[Read more...]

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Eat Right Ontario suggested this yummy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Recipe:

9 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
1 tsp Olive oil
1 cup Red Onion
4 cups Mushrooms Sliced
3 cloves of Garlic minced
1 bag Baby Spinach, washed and dried
1 jar Tomato Sauce
1 cup Light Feta Cheese
1 container Light Ricotta Cheese
2 cups Light Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
[Read more...]

New NHL Concussion Guidelines: Let’s Get the Doctor Involved

Article reproduced from the Ontario Brain Injury Association newsletter, written by Jo Innes.

There can’t be a hockey discussion without a head injury discussion. It’s no surprise that day one of NHL GM meetings in Boca Raton has already produced policy changes that aim to increase player safety and reduce injury. Some of the changes will go into effect almost immediately; some will be implemented at the beginning of next season. Commissioner Gary Bettman laid it out in five steps:

1. Equipment changes – reduce the size without reducing the safety.
2. Revise concussion management protocols – have a doctor (not a trainer) make immediate return to play decisions.
3. Hold club and coach responsible for players with repeated offenses leading to supplemental discipline.
4. Study changes to rinks that can improve player safety – implement short-term fixes now, get rid of seamless glass for next season.
5. Establish a committee dedicated to continued study of the issue.

Can we talk about step 2? [Read more...]

Keep the energy alive!

This is one of those things that most people get annoyed hearing about because most of us have difficulty accepting the fact that our brains can weaken from incidents of trauma, disease and/or aging.

Its been said that brain development is similar to muscle development-it needs to be nurtured, restored and repaired whenever necessary.

While this is a difficult issue to think about, the bottom line is that our entire bodies require the essential foods that assist with keeping us both strong and cognitively aware of the world around us.

Canada’s Food Guide suggests that the following easy tips will assist with a healthy and nutritious diet profile:

1. Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day. Go for dark green vegetables such as broccoli, romaine lettuce and spinach. Go for orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

2. Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt. Enjoy vegetables steamed, baked or stir-fried instead of deep fried.

3. Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice.

4. Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day. Barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, wild rice, grain breads, oatmeal and whole wheat pasta.

5. Have 2 cups of milk each day for adequate vitamin D. Skim, 1% or 2% is recommended. Drink fortified soy beverages is you do not drink milk. Select low fat milk alternatives such as yogurts or cheeses.

6. Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often. Eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week. Choose fish such as char, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout. Meats should be lean and poultry should have skin removed. Use cooking methods such as roasting, baking or poaching for reduced fat options. Luncheon meats should be low in sodium and fat.

7. Unsaturated oils such as canola, corn, flaxseed, olive peanut, soybean and sunflower can be used sparingly for cooking, salad dressings, margarines and mayonnaise.

8. Drink water regularly! Add some lemon, lime, cucumber or orange wedges if desired. Eating out? Say yes when offered water or order water to drink with your meal.

9. Unfortunately most of the treats that many of us like to eat go against the healthy food guide’s principles so it is suggested that you contact them at to review some healthier options when eating out or making a snack.

10. Various online nutrition articles suggest that some foods rich in antioxidants can assist in restoring brain function. Berries, apples, grapes and spinach are all noted for assisting in the areas of memory loss, balance and co-ordination. Omega-3 fatty acids also assist in improving brain function. Salmon and herring are rich in Omega-3, as well as walnuts. Also found in these foods is vitamin B-12, which promotes positive mental health.

Looking for a dietician or nutritional advice? Contact Eat Right Ontario at 1-877-510-5102.

Looking for a specialist in nutrition and medical exercise options? Contact Ms. Helen Roussos at