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Approved research

Brain Disease Subtyping Modeling aging and subtyping brain disease in multimodal brain MRI

Principal Investigator: Dr Owen Phillips
Approved Research ID: 46608
Approval date: March 12th 2019

Lay summary

Overall, this research project aims to better understand how the brain ages. This is important because if we can better understand the normal brain aging process, then we can more quickly identify when patients with brain disorders deviate from this process. The hope is if we can identify a patient early in their disorder, then perhaps we can better treat the disease before it progresses. Patients with both neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia have both been shown to have abnormal brain aging so a greater understanding of the processes involved in this abnormal aging may help in both early detection and the identification of novel biomarkers. In order to develop a model of how the brain ages, this project it will focus on the multimodal brain imaging data that was collected as part of the UK Biobank project. The neuroimaging models will be refined by integration with cognitive and genomic data. Additionally, this research seeks to develop models for subtyping brain disease. Subtypes of brain disease are often hard to identify early, which can result in additional testing and delay optimized treatment. Finally, this project will also investigate potential links between cardiac and brain health. Up until now, there has been limited research into the connection between cardiac and brain health because of limited data and computational resources to pursue a link between the two. This aim is highly exploratory but if reliable links between cardiac and brain health can be established, it may help in developing effective treatments. This project is expected to take two years.