ADNI Overview

From the beginning, and for almost decade, the landmark ADNI public-private partnership has made major contributions to increasing the pace of discovery in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. Throughout the longitudinal ADNI study, and among many ADNI objectives, three overarching ADNI goals are:

  • To detect Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at the earliest stage possible and identify ways to track the disease through biomarkers.

  • To support advances in AD intervention, prevention and treatment through the application of new diagnostic methods to apply at the earliest stages technically possible - when intervention may be most effective.

  • To continually develop ADNI’s now- legendary data access policy and continuously improve and expand the unprecedented data sharing model.

ADNI began in October 2004 and was designed to find more sensitive and accurate methods to detect Alzheimer’s disease at earlier stages and mark its progress through biomarkers. The study gathered and analyzed thousands of brain scans, genetic profiles, and biomarkers in blood and cerebrospinal fluid that are used to measure the progress of disease or the effects of treatment.

ADNI studies include brain-imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography (PET), including FDG-PET (which measures glucose metabolism in the brain); PET using a radioactive compound (Florbetapir F 18) that measures brain amyloid accumulation; and structural MRI. Brain scans reflect structural and functional changes to the brain as AD starts and progresses.

ADNI is designed to define biomarkers for use in clinical trials and to determine the best way to measure the treatment effects of AD therapeutics. As the field has evolved, the goal has been expanded to include the use of biomarkers to detect AD at a pre-dementia stage.

Armed with established, standardized methods for imaging and biomarker collection and analysis, ADNI facilitates a way for scientists to conduct cohesive research and share compatible data with other researchers around the world.

ADNI 2
ADNI began its third phase in 2011 (ADNI 2) to identify who may be at risk for AD. ADNI also aims to accurately track progression of the disease and devise tests to measure the effectiveness of potential interventions. Today, the ADNI study includes scientists at 55 research centers in U.S. and Canada. Currently the study involves over 1,000 study participants, including people without memory problems, those with mild cognitive impairment, and patients with diagnosed AD. The study results are expected to provide researchers with a better understanding of AD progression in its earliest stages, when treatments may be the most effective.

Most Notable Accomplishments
ADNI research has made significant inroads into this complex disease, and we are at the cusp of further discoveries that could help better treat AD. ADNI2 is building on the momentum of the past ADNI studies, which is widely considered a tremendous success. ADNI has:

Developed methods for early detection of AD including, CSF biomarkers, β-amyloid 42 and tau, as well as amyloid PET may reflect the earliest steps in AD pathology in mildly symptomatic or even nonsymptomatic subjects, and are leading candidates for the detection of AD in its preclinical stages;

Developed standardized methods for clinical tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in a multicenter setting;

Demonstrated the feasibility and value of multicenter PET amyloid imaging, which is expected to have a significant impact on future clinical trials and diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease.

Garnered unanticipated observations - some completely normal subjects having beta amyloid in their brain may be at increased risk for cognitive decline and dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Resulted in new findings about how changes in the structure of the hippocampus–area of the brain are more likely to develop dementia– may help detect disease progression and effectiveness of potential treatments.

Stimulated the development of a worldwide Alzheimer’s collaboration among academia, government and industry researchers by making study data publicly accessible and has resulted in over 350 published papers. To date, nearly 2,500 researchers have signed up for ADNI database access.

Expanded the global impact of furthering AD research through the establishment of ADNI-like programs in Australia, Europe and Asia.

ADNI Governance
ADNI is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of the Principal Investigator, all funded Core leaders, all site PIs, representatives of the NIH and FDA, and representatives of the companies contributing funding (observers only). Together, with the Executive Committee and the Private Partners Scientific Advisory Board, these bodies ensure that the ADNI project adheres to the study design and methodology laid out in the grant submission. Achieving the aims of the ADNI study would not be possible without the collaboration of hundreds of researchers, staff, industry advisors and research volunteers.

ADNI Core Leaders
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ADNI PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Michael W. Weiner, M.D.
Email: michael.weiner@ucsf.edu
 
PROTOCOL PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
CLINICAL CORE LEADER
Ron Petersen, Ph.D., M.D.
Email: peter8@mayo.edu
 
ADCS PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
CLINICAL CORE
Paul Aisen, M.D.;
Email: paisen@ucsd.edu
 
MRI CORE DIRECTOR
Clifford Jack, M.D.
Email: jack.clifford@mayo.edu
 
PET CORE DIRECTOR
William Jagust, M.D.
Email: jagust@berkeley.edu
 
BIOMARKER CORE DIRECTORS
Leslie M. Shaw, Ph.D.
Email: shawlmj@mail.med.upenn.edu
 
John Trojanowski, Ph.D.
Email: trojanow@mail.med.upenn.edu
 
BIOSTATISTICS CORE LEADER
Laurel Beckett, Ph.D.
Email: labeckett@ucdavis.edu
 
LONI PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR
Art Toga, Ph.D.
Email: toga@loni.ucla.edu
 
GENETICS CORE
Andrew Saykin, Psy.D.
Email: asaykin@iupui.edu
ADNI Core Leaders Flow Chart
 
 
NEUROPATHOLOGY CORE
John C. Morris, M.D.
Email: morrisj@abraxas.wustl.edu
 
RESOURCE ALLOCATION REVIEW COMMITTEE
Tom Montine, Ph.D.
Email: tmontine@u.washington.edu
 
ADNI DATA AND PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE
Robert Green, M.D., MPH
Email: adnidpc@bu.edu