Neurodegenerative Disorders

An estimated 285,000 individuals in Ontario currently suffer from some form neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and vascular cognitive impairment.

The symptoms of these disorders vary, but they share a common and gradual decline in a person’s cognitive abilities and memory resulting from a progressive loss of brain cells or brain cell function. This affects an individual’s ability to work, socialize and the loss of independence places a huge burden on family and caregivers. As our population ages, the number of people affected, and the cost of treatment is expected to rise dramatically.

The Ontario Brain Institute challenged neuroscientists across the province to come up with a new approach to addressing neurodegenerative disorders, in the context of an Integrated Discovery program. “Integrated Discovery” is a unique template, developed by the OBI, which brings together researchers, clinicians, industry and patient advocates to maximize fresh insights and speed translation of those insights into better care.


The Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI) Integrated Discovery Program is a research-based innovative initiative designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of all neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Vascular Cognitive Impairment). The program’s mandate is to ensure that discoveries are transformed into new diagnostics, treatments and improved clinical practice. The emphasis is on translational science and a province-wide collaboration between Ontario’s world-class neurodegenerative disease researchers and clinicians, patient advocacy groups and the industrial sector.  This collaborative initiative is bridging the translational gap and standardizing patient assessments and treatments across neurodegenerative diseases.

Visit the ONDRI website


Watch the ONDRI video: 



White matter fibres of the uncinate fasciculus Credit: Christopher Whelan, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Wellcome Images