Brain Images of Normal Subjects bank (http://www.brainsimagebank.ac.uk) is being developed with more than 1000 normal subjects from across the lifespan. It is collating images, and associated information (metadata) about health (e.g. blood pressure) already collected from people participating in research projects throughout Scotland. Many of these studies include detailed information from across the whole lifecourse, including socioeconomic status, current and previous health, medication use and cognitive ability tests. We are initially focussing on collecting data from studies at the extremes of life (old age and pre- and neo-natal) where there is most variability in brain structure, but we aim to expand the bank to include subjects of all ages.
The bank may be expanded in future to include subjects from other geographical locations, and patients with a range of neurological disorders, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and schizophrenia.
The images have been collected in imaging centres across Scotland and are in a range of magnetic resonance (MR) sequences, including T1, T2, T2*, and fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR). When BRAINS is released these will be searchable by a wide range of metadata, e.g. blood pressure, age, MMSE.
BRAINS atlases are based on calculated distributions of brain structure rather than parametric estimates. These will be used to support image analysis research and clinical reporting of brain images.
The BRAINS steering committee meets twice a year to discuss practical issues of setting up and maintaining the bank, and governance and ethical issues. The committee includes: Principal Investigators of the studies included in the bank (Alasdair MacLullich, Alison Murray, Susan Shenkin, Cyril Pernet, Roger Staff), Joanna Wardlaw, Mark Bastin, James Boardman, Jonathan Cavanagh, Fiona Denison, Ian Deary, Gordon Waiter) , people working on setting up the bank (David Dickie, Dominic Job, David Rodriguez Gonzalez), experts in ethics (Hester Ward) and law (Burkhard Schafer), and lay representatives.