The Computational Brain Anatomy (CoBrA) Laboratory is located at the Cerebral Imaging Centre at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (Verdun, QC, Canada; affiliated with McGill University). Our laboratory is interested the anatomy of the brain and how it matures through adolescence, how it stays healthy through the normal ageing process, and how alterations in brain anatomy are related to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. To do so, we use and develop sophisticated computational neuroanatomy techniques that are able to automatically parse the geometric complexity of brain anatomy. Our group is a multi-disciplinary group of neuroscientists, computer scientists, engineers, and physicists all working towards a common goal of improving our understanding of the structure-function relationships of the brain through health and illness. We publicly disseminate much of the algorithmic and atlas work that we do in an effort to promote open and reproducible science.

Predicting Alzheimer's Disease

Check out the following articles (from The London Telegraph, UK express, and Radio-Canada) describing recent research from our group, where a Artificial Intelligence algorithm can detect patterns across MRI images, genetics, and cognitive data to recognize changes in cognition that may be putting individuals on the path towards Alzheimer’s disease. We are very proud of the attention that this important work by Nikhil Bhagwat et al. is receiving!

The Telegraph: AI could spot Alzheimer’s five years before major symptoms appear

UK Express: Dementia test: Alzheimer’s could be spotted five years before symptoms appear using this

Radio-Canada: Prédire le déclin cognitif menant à l’alzheimer grâce à l’intelligence artificielle

For more information about the original research, click the link to read the published paper Bhagwat et al. (2018)

Modeling and prediction of clinical symptom trajectories in Alzheimer’s disease

New research from our group describes a computational model that can be used for early detection of individuals at risk for clinical decline. This machine-learning model is capable of combining longitudinal, multimodal data (MRI, cognitive, genetic and demographic data) to predict the symptom progression patterns at the single subject level.

With the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease rapidly increasing, the identification of the declining individuals a priori would provide a critical window for early intervention and preventative treatment planning. While this work holds crucial clinical utility for Alzheimer’s disease, this model can be applicable to other neurodegenerative diseases .

For more information about this research, click the link to read the paper Bhagwat et al. (2018)

Camp CoBrA 2018!

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The CoBrA Lab returned to Camp Kanawana for their fourth annual lab retreat. Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, after our daily meetings reviewing our accomplishments of the past year and brainstorming future directions for our laboratory, we spent most of our days lakeside, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. This retreat provides a great opportunity to reflect upon the last academic year, and re-energize for the new year, with our yearly fix of s’mores, and exciting new upcoming projects.

Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Steele on his new position at Concordia University

The CoBrA lab would like to congratulate Dr. Christopher Steele on becoming a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Concordia University. During his post-doctoral fellowship at the CoBrA Lab, Chris worked on examining cerebellar anatomy and cerebellar and cerebello-cortical connectivity and its heritability. We look forward to watching Chris build his team and his research program!

Congratulations to Mila on winning Best Poster Presentation at the Undergrad Expo

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The CoBrA lab would like to congratulate fellow member Mila Urosevic on winning third place for best poster presentation at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Expo of the Douglas Institute Research Centre. Mila presented her work titled, “Investigating the effects of diet and exercise in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease”. Mila presented data on her summer project examining the impact of diet and exercise interventions (using new dimensionality reduction techniques) on performance in Alzheimer’s disease related behaviours in the 3xTg mouse model.

Congratulations to the other winners, and to all students who presented!