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.

A new way to detect Alzheimer's Disease

Check out the video below where Christine Tardif and Mallar Chakravarty talk to Laura Casella from Global News Montreal about recent research from our group where a link between MRI-based hippocampal volume estimates and biomarkers have been found in patients years before cognitive decline. For more information about this research, click the link to read the published paper Tardif et al. (2017)

A Non-Invasive Method to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Research from our group has shown a link between MRI-based hippocampal volume estimates and biomarkers found in patients years before cognitive decline. Specifically, a recent paper from our group, Tardif et al. (2017) suggest that hippocampal subfield volume and extra-hippocampal white matter microstructure demonstrate a complex pattern where an initial volume increase is followed by decline among asymptomatic individuals who, in some instances, may be a decade or more away from onset of cognitive or functional impairment associated with Alzherimer’s disease.

To learn more about how to identify individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, check out the video below for Dr. Mallar Chakravarty’s interview with Mutsumi Takahashi on CTV Montreal News.

We are going to SfN's 2017 Conference!

The CoBrA Lab will be at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in Washington, DC from November 11-15. Two of our lab members, Sejal Patel and Stephanie Tullo, will be presenting posters during the afternoon poster sessions on November 14th and 15th respectively. Sejal will be presenting her project titled “Vertex-wise and region of interest heritability analysis of human brain cortical thickness and surface area using a twin and non-twin siblings design” and Stephanie will be presenting her project titled “MR-based age- and sex-related effects on the striatum, globus pallidus and thalamus in healthy individuals across the adult lifespan”. Check out the abstracts here. For more information about SfN and the meeting, check out their website.

Happy Halloween from the CoBrA Lab!


CoBrA Lab at the SToP-AD annual gala!


The CoBrA lab attended this year’s Centre for Studies on Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (StoP-AD Centre) annual gala. The StoP-AD Centre is a joint collaboration between McGill University and the Douglas Institute which is dedicated to the prevention of AD. Specifically, the PREVENT-Alzheimer program studies Alzheimer’s disease in its pre-symptomatic stages in the hopes of finding strategies that can slow or reverse brain changes that may occur in older people who do not suffer from dementia but have a parental history of Alzheimer’s disease.

As a collaborating investigator, Dr. Mallar Chakravarty attended the annual gala along with the CoBrA lab members working on the Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarker study. We were pleased to have been a part of the day’s events which thanked the participants for dedicating their time to help Alzheimer’s research.

For more information about the PREVENT-AD program or the SToP-AD centre, visit the centre’s website.