ADNI: Most Comprehensive Research Study in the World Working to Silence Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting nearly 50 percent of those over the age of 85. The “silent epidemic” affects 5.4 million individuals in the US and currently has no way of being prevented, cured or treated effectively. The UCSF-based Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative is working to change that.

The longitudinal Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), started in 2004, is the largest and most comprehensive research study of its kind, working to identify the earliest signs of AD when brain damage begins. Since its inception, the ADNI has been validating the use of biomarkers, including blood tests, tests of cerebrospinal fluid and MRI/PET imaging for AD clinical trials and diagnoses. The goal is to determine how these biomarkers identify subjects at risk for cognitive decline and dementia, and which biomarkers are the most sensitive indicators of disease progression and longitudinal change.

The research study has been broken down into three phases – ADNI, ADNI GO and ADNI 2. Currently in ADNI 2, the study is now focusing on the rate of change of cognition, function, brain structure and biomarkers of 850 volunteers. The ADNI participants are grouped in four clusters: 150 elderly controls, 450 individuals with mild cognitive impairment, 150 individuals with mild to moderate AD and 100 individuals with significant, yet subtle memory complaints.

ADNI volunteers are the heart of study and the most prevalent characteristic among them may be altruism. Our participants make a multiyear commitment to a study that is providing the path toward treatment and prevention of AD while not offering any potential intervention.

ADNI has completed enrollment. We are now planning a renewal of ADNI and expect to be recruiting new subjects beginning in 2016.

For more information on ADNI, please watch the following video and click here.

Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) Orientation Video from Foundation for NIH on Vimeo.