Among our research strengths:

  • We lead in research into the optimal dose and timing of exercise and rehabilitation therapy to promote recovery from stroke. 
  • We lead in basic research into emerging cell therapies for stroke recovery and neuroplasticity.
  • We lead in efforts to develop and test new technologies, such as the use of robotics to assess patients and deliver therapy to stroke-affected arms, and software programs to aid memory and promote cognitive recovery.
  • We lead in research to better understand the brain and how all regions are affected by stroke, opening the door to the development of better drugs.
  • We lead in testing new therapies, including “combination” approaches (cognitive training plus exercise or drug therapies plus exercise) to aid recovery from stroke.
  • We lead in technical expertise – brain imaging and data collection.


Some research highlights:

Novel therapy seeks to bring light to post-stroke depression
Understanding big and small brain injuries to improve recovery from stroke
Robots deliver stroke assessment and therapy
Pediatric research: You can change the brain even after it looks fully recovered
Restoring communication loss after stroke
Study determines exercise dose for stroke recovery
Research to improve safety and effectiveness of stroke drugs

"The CanStim Platform is a national initiative that brings together experts in non-invasive brain stimulation from across Canada to build the infrastructure and capacity to implement this technology as an adjunct rehabilitative therapy for stroke survivors. Funding from the CPSR has been critical for launching this important initiative, enabling us to hold a consensus conference to develop a CanStim protocol, which we will be implementing in a multi-centre proof-of-concept trial this year. With the CPSR's support, the CanStim Platform will be able to provide Canadians with the research required to translate this innovative technology into clinical use for stroke survivors and advance this therapy from the laboratory to the rehabilitation clinic."

Jodi Edwards, PhD, Scientist and Director, Brain and Heart Nexus Research Program
University of Ottawa Heart Institute



Research shows that the key to optimal recovery after stroke lies in the intensity and frequency of rehabilitation therapy. Yet, only five to nine per cent of stroke patients discharged home from acute care receive a referral to outpatient rehabilitation, and patients referred to in-home rehabilitation services receive only three to nine total rehabilitation visits on average. Access to therapy needs to improve!