New ‘big data’ study aims to unlock clues about neurodegeneration

Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability and debilitation in Canada’s senior population. It costs Canadians billions of dollars per year – a figure expected to grow tenfold over the next 20 years including a tenfold increase in demand for long-term care.

The Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI) is a research program studying how to improve the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and vascular cognitive impairment in an Ontario-wide collaboration between researchers and clinicians, patient advocacy groups and the industrial sector.

Join us to learn about the exciting advances being made by ONDRI.

Hear from patient and researcher Chris Hudson, PhD, and see first-hand some of the unique ONDRI imaging brain scans collected at Western University’s Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping (CFMM).

When: Wednesday, January 21 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Atrium, Robarts Research Institute, Western University, London, Ontario
Enter through the Robarts main entrance (South side of building, up the hill) and wait in the entrance until an ONDRI representative comes to escort you to the Atrium.


Dr. Michael J. Strong, Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University and Principal Investigator, ONDRI
Robert Bartha, PhD, Associate Professor, Medical Biophysics, Western University; Scientist, Robarts Research Institute and neuroimaging co-lead, ONDRI
Chris Hudson, PhD, Associate Director, Research, School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo and ocular co-lead, ONDRI
Donald Stuss, PhD, President & Scientific Director, Ontario Brain Institute

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrea Richter, Communications Coordinator, ONDRI, t. 519.661.2111 ext. 85257, c. 226.236.3879,

The Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI) is a research program designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease/mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal lobar dementia, and vascular cognitive impairment. ONDRI is a province-wide collaboration between Ontario’s world-class neurodegenerative disease researchers and clinicians, patient advocacy groups and the industrial sector that’s following 600 participants for up to three years who will complete assessments for genomics, gait and balance, eye-tracking, neuropsychology, and neuroimaging. ONDRI’s mandate is to ensure that discoveries are transformed into new diagnostics, treatments and improved clinical practice.

The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially‐funded, not‐for‐profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care. We create convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders.

Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is one of Canada’s preeminent medical and dental schools. Established in 1881, it was one of the founding schools of Western University and is known for being the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the School has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discovery.

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