ONDRI’s Research Publications

Impact through publication

ONDRI’s unique cross-disease, cross-platform design bridges lab-based silos that are typical in research. This team science focused collaboration has led to novel findings that have already been published, or are at various stages of validation or review, and will be published shortly.

Please see below for ONDRI scientific articles published to date. These appear in chronological order. A short summary is provided for each publication, along with a link to its PubMed listing and abstract. Access to the full article is provided if the article is open-access. If it is not, then access through a university or personal membership is required to read the complete article.

MRI-visible perivascular space volumes, sleep duration and daytime dysfunction in adults with cerebrovascular disease

May 2021
Journal: Sleep Medicine
Lead Author: Joel Ramirez
All authors

Cerebrospinal fluid (csf) flows through the brain, particularly during sleep, and serves a waste clearing function. The size or volume of the space around the brain’s blood vessels (perivascular space) is an indicator of the degree of csf flow – the higher the volume, the more likely the dysfunction in this clearing mechanism. This research, which uses ONDRI’s Foundational study data, tested whether larger than normal perivascular space volumes were associated with compensatory individual sleep behaviours.​

Article

Improved Segmentation of the Intracranial and Ventricular Volumes in Populations with Cerebrovascular Lesions and Atrophy Using 3D CNNs

February 2021
Journal: Neuroinformatics
Lead Author: Emmanuel E. Ntiri
All authors

Successful segmentation of different parts of brain images is of critical importance when studying neurodegeneration through neuroimaging. We compared several robust algorithms that use their own unique methodologies to achieve this segmentation. Our own models were tested on a large dataset of older adults with varying degrees of cerebrovascular lesions and degeneration. Our resulting multi-contrast models outperformed other methods across many of the evaluation metrics.

Abstract

Multisite Comparison of MRI Defacing Software Across Multiple Cohorts

February 2021
Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Lead Author: Athena E. Theyers
All authors

With improvements to both scan quality and facial recognition software, there is an increased risk of participants being identified by a 3D render of their structural neuroimaging scans, even when all other personal information has been removed. To prevent this, facial features should be removed before data are shared or openly released. While there are several publicly available software algorithms to do this, there has been no comprehensive review of their accuracy within the general population. This paper addresses this need, through cross-collaboration with Ontario Brain Institute’s CAN-BIND and POND programs.

Full Article

Predicting Cognitive Impairment in Cerebrovascular Disease Using Spoken Discourse Production

January/March 2021
Journal: Topics in Language Disorders
Lead Author: Angela Roberts
All authors

Dementia due to cerebrovascular disease (CVD) is common. Detecting early cognitive decline in CVD is critical because addressing risk factors may slow or prevent dementia. This study used a multidomain discourse analysis approach to determine the spoken language signature of CVD-related cognitive impairment.

Abstract

Cortical Thickness Estimation in Individuals With Cerebral Small Vessel Disease, Focal Atrophy, and Chronic Stroke Lesions

December 2020
Journal: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Co-Lead Authors: Miracle Ozzoude, Joel Ramirez
All authors

Local changes to cortical thickness can indicate disease progression. For people living with neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases (CVD), cortical thickness changes can be estimated using specialized neuroimaging software. However, the presence of stroke and cerebral small vessel disease pose significant challenges to estimate accuracy. The main goal of this study was to examine a correction procedure developed for enhancing FreeSurfer’s (FS’s) cortical thickness estimation tool.

Full Article

Sex Differences in Antipsychotic and Benzodiazepine Prescribing Patterns: A Cohort Study of Newly Admitted Nursing Home Residents with Dementia in Ontario, Canada

September 2020
Journal: Drugs & Aging
Lead Author: Laura C. Maclagan
All authors

In nursing homes, residents with dementia frequently receive potentially inappropriate medications that are associated with an increased risk of adverse events. There are known differences between males and females living with dementia, in terms of clinical presentation and sociodemographic characteristics. Despite this, there have been few studies that have examined sex differences in patterns and predictors of potentially inappropriate medication use.

Abstract

Trajectories of health system use and survival for community-dwelling persons with dementia: a cohort study

Trajectories of health system use and survival for community-dwelling persons with dementia: a cohort study

July 2020
Journal: BMJ Open
Lead Author: Susan E. Bronskill
All authors

This study found that as people with dementia remained in the community over time, they were more likely to enter long-term care settings than people without dementia, and they used home care services at an increasing rate. The use of other healthcare services appeared stable over time. This work will help health system planners to anticipate and plan for services to meet the needs of people with dementia and their care partners.

Full article

Methods for Improving Screening for Vascular Cognitive Impairment Using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment

June 2020
Journal: Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Lead Author: Khush-Bakht Zaidi
All authors

Vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) post-stroke is frequent but may go undetected. This highlights the need to better screen cognitive functioning following a stroke. This study examined the utility of using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in detecting cognitive impairment post-stroke.

Abstract

The Quality Assurance and Quality Control Protocol for Neuropsychological Data Collection and Curation in the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI) Study

May 2020
Journal: SAGE Journals
Lead Author: Paula M. McLaughlin
All authors

Large research initiatives designed to generate big data on clinical cohorts have become more common. As such, there is an increasing need to establish standard quality assurance (QA; preventing errors) and quality control (QC; identifying and correcting errors) procedures for critical outcome measures. This study describes the QA and QC approach developed and implemented for the neuropsychology data collected as part of the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative study.

Abstract

Identifying drugs with disease‐modifying potential in Parkinson’s disease using artificial intelligence and pharmacoepidemiology

Identifying drugs with disease‐modifying potential in Parkinson’s disease using artificial intelligence and pharmacoepidemiology

May 2020
Journal: Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety
Lead Authors: Laura C. Maclagan, Naomi P. Visanji
All authors

Researchers used artificial intelligence paired with real-world Ontario health data to examine drugs that may prevent or slow Parkinson’s disease. Five drugs were identified that may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. These drugs should be prioritized for future research.

Abstract

Structural Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Rule Out Comorbid Pathology in the Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia: Findings from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI) Study and Clinical Trials Over the Past 10 Years

Structural Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Rule Out Comorbid Pathology in the Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia: Findings from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI) Study and Clinical Trials Over the Past 10 Years

February 2020
Journal: IOS Press
Lead Author: Arumina Kapoor
All authors

Dementia is often the result of overlapping diseases. This research shows the importance of using brain MRI’s routinely in clinical trials to account for the impact of co-morbid conditions.

Full article

Sex Differences in Care Need and Survival in Patients Admitted to Nursing Home Poststroke

Sex Differences in Care Need and Survival in Patients Admitted to Nursing Home Poststroke

January 2020
Journal: The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Lead Author: Amy Y. X. Yu
All authors

Women are more likely to be admitted to nursing homes after a stroke than men. This research shows that although women have a lower mortality rate than men after admission to a nursing home, they require more care due to higher rates of pain and depression as well as increased frailty. This study has identified opportunities to improve poststroke care in the nursing home setting.

Abstract

See coverage in Globe & Mail

Comparison of quality control methods for automated diffusion tensor imaging analysis pipelines

Comparison of quality control methods for automated diffusion tensor imaging analysis pipelines

January 2020
Journal: PLOS One
Lead Author: Seyyed M. H. Mohammed
All authors

Large research studies, run out of different labs/locations, can utilize different technologies (e.g. branded equipment). When brain imaging is involved, the output/records, results in huge data files. The processing of these files, to standardize them for analysis, requires extensive programming. To be practical and ensure quality control (QC), this programming takes the form of fully automatic pipelines/algorithms. In this study, three automatic processing pipelines were tested, using brain images from ONDRI participants. A preferred method was selected.

Full article

Genetic Variation in the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative

September 2019
Journal: The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Lead Author: Allison A Dilliott
All Authors

There are changes that can occur within one’s DNA that are quite common in the general population, but which can lead to an increased risk of neurodegeneration. One example of this is the well-known genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) found within the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. This study examined common APOE gene variants and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene variants and their association with the five ONDRI neurodegenerative diseases.

Full article

The utility of multivariate outlier detection techniques for data quality evaluation in large studies: an application within the ONDRI Project.

The utility of multivariate outlier detection techniques for data quality evaluation in large studies: an application within the ONDRI Project.

May 2019
Journal: BMC Medical Research Methodology
Lead Author: Kelly M Sunderland
All authors

Large and complex studies are now routine; quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) procedures ensure reliable results and conclusions. This research determined that manual QC procedures are insufficient for large studies as many errors remain undetected.

Full article

Brain-CODE: A Secure Neuroinformatics Platform for Management, Federation, Sharing and Analysis of Multi-Dimensional Neuroscience Data

May 2018
Journal: Frontiers In Neuroinformatics
Lead Author: Anthony L. Vaccarino
All authors

Ontario Brain Institute supports multidisciplinary collaborative research networks from across Canada focusing on various brain conditions. These programs generate large volumes of data that are integrated within Brain-CODE to support scientific inquiry across multiple brain disorders. Data in Brain-CODE will generate new hypotheses about brain disorders and underlying causes, and ultimately promote new discoveries to improve patient care.

Full article

Targeted Next-generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics Pipeline to Evaluate Genetic Determinants of Constitutional Disease

April 2018
Journal: Journal of Visualized Experiments
Lead Author: Allison A Dilliott
All authors

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is quickly changing how to study the genetic causes of certain diseases. Specifically, targeted NGS is able to focus investigations to specific gene regions based on the particular disease being studied. This publication and accompanying video explain the methods used by the ONDRI genomics platform to sequence the DNA of participants using the targeted NGS tool, ONDRISeq.

Full article with video explanation

Motor Phenotype in Neurodegenerative Disorders: Gait and Balance Platform Study Design Protocol for the Ontario Neurodegenerative Research Initiative (ONDRI).

July 2017
Journal: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Lead Author: Manuel Montero-Odasso
All authors

As part of the Ontario Neurodegenerative Research Initiative (ONDRI), the gait and balance platform is focused on identifying motor-cognitive profiles across five neurodegenerative diseases. This research will help dissect the cognitive and motor contribution in mobility and cognitive decline, progression to dementia syndromes, and future unfavourable outcomes including falls and mortality.

Full article

The Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI)

March 2017
Journal: Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Lead Author: Sali M K Farhan
All authors

A description of ONDRI: an observational study that includes genetic analysis, brain imaging, and assessments of mental processes as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye-tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebrovascular disease. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database.

Full article

The ONDRISeq panel: custom-designed next-generation sequencing of genes related to neurodegeneration

September 2016
Journal: npj Genomic Medicine
Lead Author: Sali M K Farhan
All authors

The ONDRI Genomics subgroup is investigating the genetic basis of neurodegeneration. They have developed a customized genetic sequencing tool that targets 80 genes known to be associated with neurodegeneration in DNA that was isolated from participants’ blood samples. This publication outlines how the ONDRISeq panel was designed and its advantages.

Full article

Other publications supported through ONDRI funding:

1. Paula J. Gosse, Charles D. Kassardjian, Mario Masellis and Sara B. Mitchell, Virtual care for patients with Alzheimer disease and related dementias during the COVID-19 era and beyond. CMAJ, March 15, 2021 193 (11) E371-E377; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.201938

2. Frederico Pieruccini-Farria, Sandra E. Black, Mario Masellis, Eric E. Smith, Quincy J. Almeida, Karen Z.H. Li, Louis Bherer, Richard Camicioli, Manuel Montero-Odasso (2021), Gait variability Across neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders: results from the Canadian Consortium of Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) and the Gait and Brain Health.Alzheimers Dement. Published online February 16, 2021.

3. Shah-Basak PP , Kielar A, Deschamps T, Verhoeff NP, Jokel R, Meltzer J. (2019) Spontaneous oscillatory markers of cognitive status in two forms of dementia. Human Brain Mapping, 40(5):1594-1607.

4. Kielar A, Shah-Basak PP, Deschamps T, Jokel R, Meltzer JA. (2019) Slowing is slowing: Delayed neural responses to words are linked to abnormally slow resting state activity in Primary Progressive Aphasia.Neuropsychologia, 129:331-347.

5. Kielar A., Deschamps T., Jokel R., Meltzer JA. (2018) Abnormal language-related oscillatory responses in primary progressive aphasia. NeuroImage: Clinical 18:560-574.