Bioscience

Alzheimer’s Neuroimaging Initiative completes genome-wide analysis

March 16, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Eric B. Schoch, Indiana University] – Researchers announced today that a high-density genome wide analysis of participants in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; www.adni-info.org) is more than 95% complete and that data will be shared with scientists around the world for further analysis.

The ADNI data will be used by researchers to search for genes that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects up to 5 million people in the United States alone.

ADNI, an ongoing $60 million project, is a public-private partnership supported primarily by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with pharmaceutical and related industries and not-for-profit organizations providing support through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). One of the largest scale neuroimaging projects ever undertaken, ADNI involves longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging and blood, urine and spinal fluid biomarker studies of more than 800 individuals, half of whom have mild cognitive impairment, a condition placing them at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

The primary goal of ADNI is to determine whether brain imaging, other biological markers, and clinical and neuropsychological assessment can accurately measure the progression of mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease. The identification of specific biomarkers of early Alzheimer’s disease and disease progression will provide a useful tool for researchers and clinicians in both the diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease and in the development, assessment and monitoring of new treatments.

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