Browse TDRA Tools

Tablet + stethoscope

The Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA) has developed a variety of standardized clinical tools available for use by clinicians. These tools aim to improve efficacy, reduce burden, and streamline measurements and processes toward the standardization of dementia care.

Available TDRA tools are described below. To download, please click the button below. 

The Toronto Cognitive Assessment (TorCA)

Developed in collaboration with TDRA partners, the Toronto Cognitive Assessment (TorCA) is a 30-40 minute cognitive tool designed to detect early/mild stages of dementia. The TorCA has been programmed for use on a tablet, providing an instant score upon completion of the test. The TorCA is collected as a part of the Memory Clinics Research Database, is available for use by clinicians, and assesses the seven domains depicted below.


Immediate Memory

Delayed Recall

Delayed Recognition Recall

Visuospatial Function

Executive Function


Validation of the TorCA has been published in Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. Read here

The Behavioural Neurology Assessment- Short Form (BNA-SF)

The Behavioural Neurology Assessment – Short Form (BNA-SF) is a shorter form of the TorCA and is a 20-30 minute cognitive assessment tool. It is typically used in people living with mild to moderate stage dementia, and is also collected as a part of the Memory Clinics Research Database when the TorCA is not appropriate. This BNA-SF examines the five domains depicted below.




Visuospatial Function

Executive Function

Validation of the BNA-SF has been published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. Read here.

The Standardized Clinical Cognition MRI Protocol

Developed by leading neurologists and neuroradiologists from across TDRA partner hospitals, the TDRA Standardized Clinical Cognition MRI Protocol is the first city-wide standardized imaging protocol for dementia. This protocol ensures that a consistent level of information is provided to neurologists, which improves their ability to diagnose the cause of dementia in their patients. This standard set of MRI sequences aims to ensure that identifiable pathologies would be equally detectable at each site.

The sequences include:

  • High-resolution 3-D T1
  • SWI
  • DWI

*Gradient Echo (GRE) is the clinical standard to detect microbleeds, and may be added to the protocol or substituted for SWI

Together, the sequences allow for identification of:

  • Focal/global atrophy
  • Hippocampal atrophy
  • Small vessel white matter disease burden
  • Acute infarction

TDRA will provide each of the partner sites with the make- and model-specific settings that will ensure images are comparable across sites and MRI scanners.

Committed Users of the TDRA Standardized Clinical Cognition MRI Protocol

Institution: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Institution: The University Health Network (UHN)

Institution: St. Michael's Hospital

Institution: North York General Hospital

If you are interested in using this protocol at your site, please contact us

TDRA SOPs for the Collection, Processing, and Storage of Biosamples

This set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) provides a set of harmonized steps for the collection, processing, and storage of biosamples to enable various analyses (i.e., measurement of specific markers, DNA sequencing, mitochondrial DNA analysis, etc.).  These SOPs reflect common practices across the TDRA sites, and were compiled based on their expertise and that of MITO2i researchers.

Currently Available SOPs
SOP# Description
TDRA-H001-Blood Separation This SOP outlines the procedures for obtaining fractions of serum or plasma, and buffy coat from patient blood sample.
TDRA-H002-Genetics This SOP outlines the procedures for collecting blood samples for downstream genomic and mitochondrial DNA extraction.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Research Workshop Materials

In partnership with Dr. Nicole Kaniki, Director of EDI in Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto, TDRA hosted two EDI workshops in 2022. These workshops review the history of discriminative and oppressive practices in research, and instruct on how to embed EDI considerations effectively throughout the research process.

Slides and video recordings are available for the following two sessions:

  • Workshop 1: EDI in Research Methods (June 2, 2022)
  • Workshop 2: EDI in Demographic Data Collection for Research (September 7, 2022)

Virtual Biobank

TDRA is curating a list of cohort studies that have collected data and biosamples relevant to dementia that are available for request. The types of samples tracked include buffy coat, CSF, DNA, plasma, serum, urine, white blood cells, and whole blood (EDTA). The listing is updated quarterly. To list your study samples, please contact