The eyes have it: linking eye tracking and cognitive measures across neurodegenerative diseases
An important new ONDRI publication, the result of many years of work by an eminent team of scientists, establishes the link between eye movement parameters, a set of cognitive measures, and associated differences in neurodegenerative diseases.
New study identifies lipid signature of small vessel stroke
Good fats can go bad in diseased small blood vessels. An innovative ONDRI study uncovers a new blood marker and therapeutic target in small vessel disease.
Adjusting expectations from the holidays – part 2
The holiday season is a time for shared memories and establishing traditions. Yet, for families of people living with dementia, every day is different, and traditions may have to be adjusted. Part 2 of our short series focuses on adjusting traditions.
Adjusting expectations from the holidays – part 1
The holiday season is a joyous time of celebration and tradition. Yet, for families of people living with dementia, new challenges can mean they need to dramatically adjust their expectations. Part 1 of our short series focuses on dementia and alcohol consumption.
If you don’t use it, you may not lose it, but it won’t benefit you as intended
Mobility aids can promote safe and effective walking, support independence and help reduce the risk of falls. But are they used as prescribed?
Will retinal thickness help us to diagnose neurodegenerative disease in future?
New exploratory research led by Dr. Bryan Wong, an optometrist and medical doctor currently completing a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Toronto, provides insights into this developing story and builds on inconsistent findings in past studies.
ONDRI validates MRI distortion correction protocol for multi-site research
Brain imaging involves inherent distortions. This is a particular concern when conducting a multi-site study, where images generated in different environments need to be comparable. ONDRI researchers adapted and validated a purposely designed protocol to help promote standardized imaging results.
Letters my Dad will never read – Part 3: 21 years old
This is the third and final blog posts featuring letters from a daughter, written to her father who is living with young onset dementia. The post starts off with reflections nearly four years after the last letter was written, where the daughter has built a sense of resilience and strength.
Letters my dad will never read – Part 2: 20 years old
This is the second of three blog posts featuring letters from a daughter, written to her father who is living with young onset dementia. The letters, in their own authentic way, represent the various stages of grief and eventual acceptance of this life-altering diagnosis.
Letters my dad will never read – part 1: 19 years old
This is the first of three blog posts featuring letters from a daughter, written to her father who is living with young onset dementia. These letters, which were never intended to be read, have served a therapeutic function for the daughter; in sharing them, she hopes they can do the same for others.
The bird’s eye view of neurodegenerative disease
Researchers working in ONDRI’s eye tracking platform have made great strides in finding new biomarkers for neurodegeneration. They have set up a new venture, Dynamiris, to start the process of commercializing their work.
Finding his voice in a life post-stroke
ONDRI’s newest PCAC member is Ron LaCombe, who has spent the past several years providing support to people who have experienced a stroke.
ONDRI’s clinical platform helps illuminate research findings
ONDRI’s clinical assessment platform is in the background of all ONDRI studies, providing clinical detail on study participants that can help illuminate new findings, or verify hypotheses.
The big surprise of volunteering
Shelley, a care partner to her mother who is living with dementia, and a member of ONDRI’s Patient & Community Advisory Committee, reflects on the act of volunteering, and what it has contributed to her life.
New biological contributor to empathy deficit identified across ONDRI Diseases
Empathy is known to be associated with FTD. But is it associated with other neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases and what biological factors may be contributing? A new ONDRI study set out to explore these issues.
Call the Plumber! New ONDRI study shows correlation between MRI-visible perivascular spaces and increased symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Recent studies have suggested that magnetic resonance imaging–visible perivascular spaces (PVS) in the basal ganglia (BG-PVS) of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may be markers of motor disability and cognitive decline. A new ONDRI study explores this issue further.
Communication challenges with aphasia can exacerbate caregiving stress
The recent announcement that actor Bruce Willis is living with aphasia has generated interest in this healthcare condition. ONDRI researchers study aphasia and associated speech, language and cognitive implications.
Seeing is believing: reflections from ONDRI’s neuroimaging platform
The neuroimaging platform has been a key part of ONDRI since the design and implementation of the Foundational Study. Read some key observations about the neuroimaging data, past and upcoming studies from two ONDRI researchers.
From our lab to yours: empowering leadership through ONDRI
In this post, we profile two ONDRI Scholars, researchers who have landed up working together again, at McGill University, expanding their goals that were born through their work with ONDRI.
ONDRI Scholars leveraging learning for continued career success
You’re at an early stage of your career and the world is full of possibilities. You may be particularly interested in certain aspects of both your educational and work experience; or you may not yet be sure what area to hone in on or to specialize in. You want to keep...
Reflections From ONDRI’s Genomics Platform
Studies of neurodegenerative diseases typically group people based on their clinical diagnosis. Yet there is so much genetic overlap between diseases, that this approach needs to be rethought.
Focused health services research fuels impact
ONDRI’s Aim 4 bring the health services research lens into ONDRI’s body of work, to help sharpen the focus on people living with neurodegenerative disease, stroke and dementia.
ONDRI Scholars training leads to impacts far and wide
Since the start, the ONDRI study has been an excellent training ground for tomorrow’s scientists and researchers interested in contributing to an improved understanding of neurodegeneration.
The complexity of diagnosing young onset dementia
Young or early-onset dementia refers to dementia symptoms diagnosed in a person who is under the age of 65. There are some differing considerations to be taken into account when diagnosing young onset dementia.
Will genetic profiles enable us to accurately predict disease trajectory in neurodegenerative diseases?
A new study published by Allison Dilliott PhD, et al show how a well known gene variant influences cognition no matter the neurodegenerative diagnosis, which may help pave the way.
Can Post-Stroke Cognitive Function Improve Through Simple Goal Setting?
We set goals for ourselves every day. We write them down them, we measure them, we tick them off. Setting measurable goals has been used for years in business settings, in cognitive behaviour therapy and many other contexts. Achieving our goals then contributes to...
Your Sleep Need May be Driven by Poor Drainage of Brain Waste
Sleep is a crucial part of our health and wellbeing. Not only do we feel rested after a good night’s sleep, but behind the scenes, important functions are taking place which help keep us healthy. Our brain clears out the day’s metabolic waste while we sleep. Blockage in the perivascular spaces, through which the waste flows, may mean we sleep longer, to make up for it.
Improved Diagnostic Tool Also Honours Contribution of Study Participants
ONDRI researchers Miracle Ozzoude, Dr. Joel Ramirez and colleagues have devised methods that substantially improve accuracy of cortical thickness measures. This work also provides measures of cortical thinness in patients with focal stroke and extreme white matter disease, which could not have been done prior to their work.
From Hours to Seconds per Image – Strides in Brain Research & Clinical Practice
ONDRI researchers Edward Ntiri, Dr. Maged Goubran et al set out to devise improved algorithms to accurately and efficiently measure whole brain volume and ventricular volume in people living with neurodegenerative diseases. Their methods have meant dramatic improvements in image processing, with exciting clinical implications.
Personal Reflection: What Living with Parkinson’s Can Contribute to a Post-COVID19 World
Despite the unbearable loss of life and the devastating impact on millions of people worldwide, conversations these days are increasingly turning to what a post-COVID world might look like. Observations through living with Parkinson’s disease may shed some light.
Getting Back to the Future: My First Decade of Living with Parkinson’s Disease (part two)
When we left my story in part 1, I finally got off the couch. I went upstairs and retrieved my running gear from the back of my closet and went back downstairs into the basement (it was Canada in winter after all!) I booted up my dusty treadmill and started walking. I no longer cared what it sounded like. The important thing was that I was moving forward — literally.
Getting Back to the Future: My First Decade of Living with Parkinson’s Disease (part one)
Part 1 – Life on the Couch: Diagnosis to Despair I have always liked Michael J. Fox. On my first trip to the United States, after seeing him in “Back to the Future”, I was determined to find those same red striped, white leather Nike sneakers, as well as a pair Original 501 Levi’s that his character, Marty McFly, wore in the movie. I returned to South Africa successful on that shopping spree.
Neurology in the Era of Virtual Care – an Interview with Dr. Sara Mitchell
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt far and wide. Physical distancing guidelines have affected all aspects of day-to-day life, even healthcare provision. Virtual healthcare, powered by digital technologies and by necessity, is said by some to have progressed by a decade in the year since the pandemic hit.
Foundational to ONDRI’s Research: The Patient & Community Advisory Committee
The Patient & Community Advisory Committee (PCAC) is a collection of motivated volunteers who embody ONDRI’s cross-disease research: people with lived experience, including care partners; representatives from the charity/advocacy groups of the ONDRI community; associated clinicians; along with ONDRI and Ontario Brain Institute delegates.
An Inspiring, Magical Night to Honour and Celebrate Dr. Sandra Black
On Monday evening, March 1, 2021, just shy of 200 people got together on a Zoom call to celebrate the many accomplishments and lives affected, professionally and personally, by Dr. Sandra Black.
Bilingualism in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) – Does it Improve Cognition and Quality of Life?
It has long been believed that speaking more than one language on a regular basis may help boost brain function and possibly preserve the brain as it ages. An innovative ONDRI study explores this issue.