Aim 1: Mining the Gold

The Gold: ONDRI’s deep, rich data sets

Between 2013-2018, researchers working on ONDRI’s Foundational study collected detailed clinical data from people living with one of five diseases that can lead to dementia, over a three year period. This study produced a deep rich data set.

ONDRI’s Aim 1 is about finding meaningful discoveries in the rich data set emerging from this study, in order to:


  • Identify useful early indicators of neurodegenerative diseases, and
  • Find predictors of decline or stability of disease

Video: Doug Munoz, PhD, ONDRI co-lead, describes Aim 1 (Oct. 2020):

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

Pan-Ontario approach

ONDRI’s Foundational study includes data from site labs and people across the province: from Thunder Bay, to Hamilton, from London to Kingston. Collecting and comparing data from populations across the province added to the richness of the study and resulting data. 



Millions of data points for impactful exploration

ONDRI’s Foundational study is represented by the cube on the left, which shows the three dimensions of data collected:

  • Disease
  • Assessment platform
  • Time

The framework captures multiple diseases at multiple time points with a common assessment protocol for all. This framework allows for a level of innovative thinking and exploration that is not possible in a typical, more narrowly focused research study. Data, stored in Brain-CODE, can be analyzed within & across diseases, within & across platforms, in different time frames, just to name a few ways. This unique study design leads to questions and hypotheses that are hard to conceive with studies with less complexity to their design. This is the basis of Aim 1 researchers’ work.

The impact of Aim 1 research on the health system

Aim 1 researchers have published findings in diverse areas, with many more studies planned.

Publications to date include:

ONDRI’s four guiding aims: