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Research Grants 2013


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2013 Grants - Rowe

AIBL III – Data Distribution

Christopher Rowe, M.D., Ph.D.
Austin Health at Austin Life Sciences
Heidelberg, Australia

2013 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study is a longterm study of 1,100 people older than 60 years. One of the purposes of the study is to identify changes in biomarkers, including brain scans, that indicate the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease or other adverse brain changes during aging. A biomarker is a molecule or other characteristic that can be measured to indicate the presence of disease, such as a blood test to measure kidney function. Researchers in the AIBL study have collected magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the brain from 288 participants at the beginning of the study and at intervals as the people age.

Using grant support from the Alzheimer’s Association, the AIBL researchers have been providing MRI images to other researchers around the world, so that many scientists can work to identify brain changes during aging or disease onset. Christopher Rowe, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, who are working on the AIBL project, have proposed to extend this service for several more years. This grant from the Alzheimer’s Association will complement grants from other sources to allow the AIBL project to support a specialist to maintain the imaging database and keep it available for other investigators around the world. The specialist will be responsible for ensuring the quality of new imaging data, uploading the data into the database servers, maintaining data integrity and security, and ensuring that researchers can access and use the data.

Using this grant support, the AIBL researchers also plan to obtain more brain scans from the same participants, as well as from 400 more participants. The additional support offered through the grant will allow these new images to be made available to other investigators. Such access is crucial for maintaining the remarkable pace of research progress already achieved by the AIBL project. AIBL researchers and collaborators have already made major contributions to our understanding of how the brain changes during aging and Alzheimer’s disease.