In 2011 a group of researchers & supporters recognized the need to tackle the dementia crisis through an in-depth study of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. Guided by the Ontario Brain Institute, they created ONDRI.

Team science in brain research

ONDRI’s team members are researchers from different science- and disease-based specialties.

Their combined knowledge and a high degree of collaboration allows for novel discoveries in the area of neurodegeneration and its multiple impacts — such as dementia — on individuals and society.

Video: From the early days – Introduction to ONDRI

To access closed captioning, or read the words, click on CC at bottom of the video

Why focus on neurodegeneration?

Neurodegeneration, or the gradual loss of structure and function of brain cells, can lead to dementia. Many countries around the world are focused on addressing dementia, in order to reduce the personal and financial toll this condition takes on people living with it, their families, and society as a whole.

There are over 500,000 Canadians living with dementia & 25,000 new cases each year1

Dementia is the primary cause of disability and debilitation in Canada’s senior population. However, dementia is not exclusively an older person’s disease and it is not a normal part of aging.

Why this research is important

illustration of magnifying glass focusing on the brain

An in-depth framework for making new discoveries

Neurodegenerative diseases can lead to dementia symptoms, but don’t always follow expected patterns of cognitive decline. This makes it a challenge to develop therapies that are widely effective or personalized. These diseases are also very difficult to diagnose early enough to allow effective treatment, as once symptoms appear, it is often too late. By studying these neurodegenerative diseases together, ONDRI research has uncovered many promising discoveries, which now need to increase in scale and reach.

ONDRI’s guiding principles:

Driven by a mission

ONDRI’s Mission Statement

To catalyze advances in dementia and motor disorders (complex syndromes due to multiple neurodegenerative diseases plus cerebrovascular disease) to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, care, and outcomes for persons living with these diseases and those who support them.


  1. Alzheimer.ca