Ontario Brain Institute Releases New Dataset to Accelerate Depression Research

Standardized, Cleansed, and Curated Data from a CAN-BIND Study Investigating Major Depressive Disorder Now Available to the Global Brain-CODE Research Community

TORONTO, February 10, 2022 /CNW/ – During the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns about mental health have increased, while calls for collaboration and open science in the research community have intensified. Join the Canadian Network for Biomarker Integration in Depression (CAN-BIND), one of Ontario Brain Instituteof six integrated discovery programs, including a comprehensive, multimodal data set that has just been made available to the global research community.

“Like Ontarioas the rest of the world has faced the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more important to support research and innovation in the province’s healthcare sector, including advances in mental health” , said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Throughout the pandemic, the Ontario Brain Institute has played a valuable role in connecting clinicians, researchers, industry and patients with an open science approach, breaking down healthcare silos and creating new partnerships to help rethink how we deliver better care to Ontarians. .”

The CAN-BIND Pivotal Study includes a deeply phenotyped cohort of 211 individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 112 healthy individuals at six Canadian clinical sites. The data has been normalized, cleaned and organized to allow maximum utility for analysis across all diseases and platforms, and is now available on Brain-CODE, the neuroinformatics platform of the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI). This is the fourth release of clinical data on Brain-CODE since the platform launched in early 2021. The first three sets focused on neurodegenerative conditions, neurodevelopmental disorders and concussions.

Tom MikkelsenPresident and Scientific Director of the OBI, says sharing data has the potential to help improve the health of one in three Canadians living with a brain disorder.

“We believe Brain-CODE is the indispensable tool to accelerate brain health research and innovation, bringing benefits to both patients and the economy. In terms of mental health, this means that By collecting, standardizing, and publishing this depression dataset, through CAN-BIND, we’re discovering ways to identify the right treatment for the right person to help people with depression recover quickly and stay in good health.”

In the pivotal CAN-BIND study, participants with MDD received the antidepressant escitalopram for eight weeks. After eight weeks, if depressive symptoms did not improve, participants were then given escitalopram in combination with aripiprazole, an augmentation treatment often used to treat MDD, for another eight weeks. Throughout the study, participants were assessed with 29 clinical instruments and questionnaires, structural and functional MRI, resting-state and task-based EEG, and genomic and molecular measures. The aim of the study is to identify biomarkers that predict treatment response in people with depression. This data release contains benchmark data for all participants.

According to dr. Sidney KennedyCAN-BIND Principal Investigator: “The detailed and multimodal nature of the dataset provides unique opportunities to identify integrated biomarkers that predict individual response to treatment.”

Brain-CODE, OBI’s neuroinformatics platform, is an excellent example of how the international research community can share data on a global scale, leading to improved care.

“As a tool that allows researchers to ask questions that span disorders, disciplines and sectors, in the open science landscape, Brain-CODE has the potential to tell an untold story,” says Dr. Mikkelsen . “Data sharing is really the missing link in removing barriers to research.”

Learn more about OBI data releases on the Brain-CODE website.


The Ontario Brain Institute is a not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting patients and the economy. Our collaborative “team science” approach advances brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients and their advocates to improve the lives of people with brain disorders. Funding provided, in part by the Government of Ontario.

The Canadian Network for Biomarker Integration in Depression (CAN-BIND) is a national research and learning program conducted in partnership with the OBI. The community includes people with lived experience, caregivers, researchers, healthcare providers, government agencies, industry partners and mental health advocates who work together to ensure mental well-being of all Canadians.

Brain-CODE is OBI’s state-of-the-art neuroinformatics platform where data streams from OBI’s six research programs are assimilated, stored and analyzed. OBI’s Brain-CODE is a “shared brain” for researchers in Ontario and beyond.

For more information:

Renée Dunk, Senior Communications Officer, Ontario Brain Institute: [email protected]416-562-2695

Allison GarberConsultant, Ontario Brain Institute: [email protected]902-221-5254

SOURCE Ontario Brain Institute

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