The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) Study

COMPASS-ND is the signature clinical study of the CCNA. By the end of 2018, 1650 Canadians between the ages of 50 and 90 who are living with, or are at risk of developing, dementia will be enrolled in 30 sites across Canada. This 8.4 million dollar study is funded through the 31.5 million dollar grant to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and 14 partner organizations from the public and private sectors.

The major goals of the study are:

  • To learn about who is at risk of developing dementia
  • To determine how early dementia can be detected
  • To find out what tests are most effective at detecting dementia

Accordingly, COMPASS-ND is designed to provide the data that will enable 14 out of 20 of CCNA’s research teams to address their hypotheses. Read the launch Q&A here.

Study Summary

The COMPASS-ND Study is an observational study of people with various types of dementia or cognitive complaints. The study collects clinical, neuropsychological, and MRI imaging data as well as blood, saliva, and urine samples from participants. Participants who are willing may undergo additional tests including: lumbar puncture, buccal swabs, fecal sample collection, and brain donation. Annual telephone checks will be conducted and the baseline procedures will be repeated after 2 years.

Participant Groups

Neurodegeneration is an umbrella term comprising a variety of conditions. Participants with the following memory conditions will be recruited into COMPASS-ND: Subjective Cognitive Impairment, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Subcortical Ischemic Vascular MCI, Mild Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia of Mixed Etiology, Lewy Body disease, Parkinson’s dementia/MCI and Frontotemporal dementia.

Up to now, most studies of age-related cognitive decline have focused on specific types of dementia in isolation. The goal of COMPASS-ND is to study dementia in all its forms, including cases where there are multiple pathologies involved, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease, referred to as “mixed” dementia. This broad approach is being taken in order to investigate what these dementias have in common, as well as what differentiates them. Doing so will help in diagnosing, understanding, and working to prevent the onset of dementia in all its forms. In the case of mixed dementia, study results will help CCNA researchers examine the impacts of different pathologies alone and in combination, and their implications for disease course and treatment.

Site Details

Participants in COMPASS-ND will be recruited from sites across Canada. There are currently COMPASS-ND data collection sites in St. John, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough, Toronto, Kitchener/Waterloo, London, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Prince George.

Data collection sites include memory clinics, stroke clinics, movement disorder clinics, and behavioural neurology clinics as well as both academic and private research groups.



Overall Study Recruitment

751  Participants of 1650 Recruited