Brock receives nearly 1 million in CIHR research funding

Lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity, smoking and high blood pressure are some of the known factors that lead to heart attacks down the road. But does a toxic childhood environment lead to heart disease?With Project Grant funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced this week, a Brock University-led research team is studying the relationship between early indicators of cardiovascular disease in young adults and adverse childhood experiences such as maltreatment, dysfunctional family life, severe bullying and other traumas.Professor of Health Sciences Terrance Wade says his six-member group is breaking new ground.“We’re finding that traditional factors for cardiovascular disease, such as lifestyle and behaviours, are not explaining this relationship,” says Wade. “We’re thinking it’s more of a link between young adults’ psychosocial mechanisms and their physiologies.”The research builds on earlier studies that measured blood pressure, heart rate and other heart-related indicators in a group of 552 children aged 10 to 14 years old. Researchers also gathered information on the children’s lifestyles, behaviours and other psychosocial measures.To date, 76 of these participants have had their heart health re-measured in the last year now that they are 18 years of age and older.Preliminary results showed that young people who experienced more adverse childhood events had arteries that were more rigid and less able to react to blood pressure changes than young people whose childhoods were more stable.The results also showed increased markers of inflammation in the blood of young adults who had adverse childhoods.This latest CIHR award will enable the researchers to expand the number of participants from the pilot study to take a close look at how both inflammation and psychosocial factors such as self-esteem, resilience, depression, anxiety and others lay the groundwork for pre-clinical indicators of heart disease.“We’re looking at whether chronic inflammation states might be induced by adverse experiences early in life and how that might set the stage for the kinds of physiological changes that can result in cardiovascular-related problems,” says team member Adam MacNeil, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences.“The findings from this research will provide valuable information as to the detrimental impact that adverse childhood experiences have on cardiovascular health,” says Professor of Health Sciences Deborah O’Leary, who is co-leading the study and will be measuring blood pressure, blood flow and other aspects of the cardiovascular system.Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies Danielle Sirianni Molnar says she is excited that the transdisciplinary group will “use multiple methods and draw on expertise from diverse fields of study that reflects the biopsychosocial model of health.”Other team members include John Cairney from the University of Toronto and Jennifer McGrath from Concordia University.The team’s research, “How Do Negative Childhood Experiences Influence Cardiovascular Health Among Young Adults?” is one of two initiatives CIHR awarded to Brock University for a total of $960,076 in funding.Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Karen Patte also received Project Grant funding for her work on youth mental health.“CIHR’s investment in these two research projects shows how Brock researchers are making a difference in the world around them,” says Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “Brock research team leaders and members, along with their colleagues at other institutions, are providing insight into some of the most urgent and profound health challenges confronting our youth.”With a previous CIHR grant, Patte and her team developed and tested mental health tools for a larger project, the COMPASS system, headed by Scott Leatherdale at the University of Waterloo. The tools were incorporated into the COMPASS study in the 2017-18 school year, collecting mental health data from more than 70,000 Grade 9 through 12 students in 100 secondary schools in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia and Nunavut.In the newly funded project titled “Addressing Youth Mental Health in the COMPASS System,” Patte and the research team will continue to follow students and schools for three additional years, providing data on youth mental health and relevant school programs, policies and resources.“Despite greater attention, we still know little about what works for the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of mental health and resiliency, nor how different contexts impact the effectiveness of interventions” Patte says.By embedding the tools within COMPASS, the team will also be able to study how mental health relates to students’ substance use, physical activity, screen time, diet, bullying, academic achievement and the other areas addressed in the larger project.“We then feed this information back into schools for the continual improvement of youth mental health and schools’ ability to support their students,” says Patte.CIHR’s Project Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related fundamental or applied knowledge, health research, healthcare, health systems and health outcomes. read more

New Face of Handball in Plock

← Previous Story EHF prevents regional league! Red light from Vienna for the new project! Next Story → IHF: Germany gets Wild Card for Qatar 2015! handballpilka recznaPlock Nineteen teams, beach handball and the city center of well known in handball world city. Last weekend Płock hosted Beach Handball Tournament of Mayor of Płock’s Cup. – It had been great pleasure and the best tournament in Poland so far – say everybody who had chance to participate. The scenery of tournament was special – the main city centre, next to the town hall, surrounded by historical buildings. Although Płock is located on the riverside organisers decided to place event in the Old Town – We wanted to show people something different and also gain these ones who firstly were not interested in our event – says Artur Niesłuchowski, president of BHT Auto Forum Petra Płock, team who organised tournament. – That is why we located it in the city centre. Of course this decision brought us to higher costs but thanks to our main sponsors, who were city of Płock and PKN Orlen we were able to make it. As we found out that was bull’s eye. Almost every game was played with many people on the audience. Especially matches of host, BHT Auto Forum Petra Płock attracted a lot of spectators, including Manolo Cadenas or players of polish national team Adam Wiśniewski or Piotr Masłowski. – That was a wonderful feeling to see so many people who were cheering for us. To be honest we were expecting that and we are not disappointed – say Marcin Miedziński, player of Petra and Polish Beach Handball National Team. The tournament won the host, who in the final won against Damy Radę Inowrocław. The game provided a lot of emotions to both players and the fans. Petra won 2:0, but it was not an easy victory – both sets ended with the gold goals. – It was the first victory in our history during playing in Polish Championship and it gave us first place in the table, we could not be happier. We and our fans deserved it to celebrate in the home city – say Miedziński. The only problem during competition happen during women’s final, which had to be interrupted due to rainfall. Eventually after half hour break match was resumed and the gold medal went to BHT Byczki Kowalewo Pomorskie, who won against Reflex AZS AWF Volkswagen Poznań.Tournament was a great sports and organisational success. – We have heard many positive opinions during and after our event – says Artur Niesłuchowski – We are really glad that everybody enjoyed it – starting with us, through fans and spectators to players and referees. Some of them even said that this may change perception of beach handball and tournaments organizing in Poland, which is a great pleasure to hear.People in Płock can’t wait to see tournament back in the city. – I hope we will see each other here next year – said during ending ceremony Andrzej Nowakowski, president of the city. As the organisers promise, Beach Handball Płock after a great success will become annual event.TEXT: Michalina ChabowskaPHOTO: Grzegorz Trzpil read more