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Approved research

Finding common brain changes and shared risk factors in early dementia, depression and concussion

Principal Investigator: Professor Stuart Grieve
Approved Research ID: 50102
Approval date: November 4th 2019

Lay summary

Early dementia, depression and concussion are difficult to observe using a standard MRI because they do not manifest as overt structural changes. However, advanced neuroimaging techniques can be employed to provide quantifiable information on the structure and connectivity of the brain. It may be possible to detect the status and severity of such diseases using these techniques. For these diseases, it is vital to perform research in large, well-characterised, high-quality datasets because the expected effects are subtle. In addition, it is useful to test whether MRI findings replicate across different datasets because MRI acquisition methods can vary widely. Our group hosts computer systems capable of handling large amounts of neuroimaging data. We aim to use our existing image processing pipelines to identify neuroimaging signatures of dementia, depression and concussion, and to test for replication and validation of these findings in a large combined sample which will include the UK Biobank data. In particular, we will quantify measures describing white matter tissue microstructure and macroscopic connectivity between brain regions, and test how these measures relate to brain disease, as well as to cognitive and clinical outcomes. We are requesting 36 months' access to data from subjects who had brain MRIs (MRI, demographic, clinical and cognitive data).