Our Research Studies

Interested in taking part in dementia research?

The Toronto Dementia Network (TDN) is a website that lists dementia-related programs and services across Toronto. The Alzheimer Society of Toronto and TDRA have created a new Research Section on the TDN website to help you find dementia-related studies.

You can browse for studies in plain language, or if you are not sure which study to sign up for, there is a questionnaire to help match you to a study!
To get started, visit the website: https://tdn.alz.to/research-studies/

Learn more about some of the TDRA's Studies!

Flow chart showing assessments and participant population for the Dementia Clinical Research Database study. Described under the heading Dementia Clinical Research Database.

Dementia Clinical Research Database:

How do the types of dementia differ?

The Dementia Clinical Research Database is the TDRA’s foundational project; it uses a standardized test of cognition developed by TDRA scientists, and captures a variety of clinical data from consenting patients. Cognitive tests and clinical data are used by neurologists to help support a diagnosis, but these data are also very interesting and useful to researchers. Collecting the same information on a population of people with different types of dementia reveals important clues about what makes them different.  Having this detailed description will also help researchers make more informed decisions about which trials would be a good fit, and to better track outcomes.


How can we diagnose different neurodegenerative diseases earlier and more effectively?

TDRA sites are participating in the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI), one of the Ontario Brain Institute’s Integrated Discovery Programs. ONDRI brings together Ontario's research scientists and clinicians to tackle the complexity of dementia by studying five diseases related to neurodegeneration. ONDRI’s impacts are focused on three areas: basic scientific discovery, individual function (i.e., care in research) and informing health system planning. The disease being studied are:

  • Alzheimer’s disease/mild cognitive impairment 
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTD)
  • Cerebrovascular disease +/- cognitive impairment (typically resulting from stroke)

ONDRI is currently seeking study participants for a virtual brain health study. More here

Flow chart showing assessments and participant population for the BEAM Study. Described under the heading BEAM study.

BEAM Study:

What if changes to the eye could be used to diagnose dementia earlier?

The Brain-Eye Amyloid Memory (BEAM) study is investigating whether measurements of the eye can be used with other tests to detect dementia earlier.  By comparing the results of non-invasive tests similar to those done in an eye doctor’s office with established tests of cognition, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, researchers can look for links between changes in parts of the eye in dementia.  PET scans can detect amyloid that has deposited in the brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.  More details on the BEAM study.


Can a medication approved for high blood pressure prevent decline in Alzheimer’s disease?

Shrinkage or atrophy of the brain is a common effect of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and is associated with a decline in cognitive ability.  The SARTAN-AD study is comparing the effects of two approved medications for high blood pressure – Telmisartan and Perindopril – on their ability to stabilize the brain in persons with high blood pressure and AD.  Participants will be enrolled in this study for 12 months, and will have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cognitive testing to measure whether there is any effect of the medication. More details on the SARTAN-AD study

We are currently looking for participants to join this clinical trial. 

Flow chart showing treatments, assessments and participant population for the SARTAN-AD study. Described under the heading SARTAN-AD.
Flow chart showing assessments for the PACt-MD study. Described under the heading PACt-MD.


Can Alzheimer’s disease be prevented?

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is considered to be the an early stage of dementia, and is typically followed by a progressive decline in cognitive ability. Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia with Cognitive Remediation plus Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Depression (PACt-MD)  investigates the effectiveness of games designed to boost and preserve cognition and non-invasive brain stimulation on slowing down the progression of MCI to Alzheimer’s disease.


This study is currently in development

Can we re-purpose an approved medication for epilepsy to preserve brain health?

Above average electrical activity in a part of the brain known as the hippocampus can be unhealthy.  This hyperactivity is common in other diseases such as epilepsy, but for some individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease it may contribute to the progression of the disease.  This study will recruit healthy participants with specific genetics and a family history of disease to look at how common hyperactivity is in this population, and whether low doses of an approved medication for epilepsy can reduce it.

Flow chart showing the treatment and assessments for the ALEVIATE study. Described under the heading ALEVIATE.

Interested in learning more about clinical trials? Find out about the different phases of testing in a clinical trial.