Our Mission:

Improving quality of life for persons with dementia, promoting prevention and early diagnosis, and advancing discovery of treatment for dementia through collaborative research and innovation.

Our Vision:

Collaborative research seamlessly embedded into care to create a future without dementia.

Our Impact:

The Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA) is carrying out world-leading clinical research that aims to develop better approaches to detect, prevent, and treat dementia. To tackle one of the greatest health and social challenges of our time, five hospitals with cognitive and behavioral neurology clinics – Baycrest, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health,  St. Michael’s HospitalSunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the University Health Network are working together with the University of Toronto to embed research into care. This allows patients to take part in a range of clinical research studies that provide a better understanding of dementia, clues on how to prevent it, manage the symptoms, and test therapies under development. These projects, led by TDRA researchers, also provide harmonization of clinical assessments and care across hospitals.

TDRA will allow Canadian researchers to address several questions important to persons living with dementia and their families:

  • Why is dementia more frequent in some families?
  • What are the roles of sex (male versus female), the environment genetic factors in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Are there any currently approved medications that can be used to treat dementia?
  • What are the risk factors for developing dementia?
  • Can we prevent or delay dementia?
  • Can we understand the biology of different dementias, and what that means for treatment?
  • Can we establish sensitive markers of disease that allow us to detect changes to the brain early on?
  • What are the biological mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia and how can we advance their treatment?

With over 8,000 patients visits per year, together the five TDRA clinical sites provide care for patients with many different kinds of dementia. Hover over the illustrations to see an example of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the following:

normal aging brainnormal aging MRI scan

         Normal Aging

mild cognitive impairment brainmild cognitive impairment MRI scan

Early/Mild Cognitive Impairment

Alzheimer's disease brainAlzheimer's disease MRI scan

     Alzheimer's Disease

Vascular cognitive impairment brainVascular cognitive impairment MRI scan

Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Parkinson Lewy Body spectrum disease brainParkinson Lewy Body spectrum disease MRI scan

Parkinson/Lewy Body Spectrum Disease

Frontotemporal degeneration brainFrontotemporal degeneration MRI scan

Frontotemporal Degeneration

White matter disease brainWhite matter disease MRI scan

     White Matter Disease

Other causes of cognitive decline brainOther causes of cognitive decline MRI scan

Other Causes of Cognitive Decline

Baycrest
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
St Michaels Hospital
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
University Health Network