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  Treasure trove of Alzheimer’s disease research for public consumption

    This is Science Today. The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, or ADNI, is one of the largest scale neuroimaging projects ever undertaken. The primary goal is to identify early biomarkers of early Alzheimer's disease and disease progression and provide researchers and clinicians in both diagnosis and the development of new treatments. Dr. Michael Weiner of the University of California, San Francisco, is principal investigator of ADNI and says one of the best parts about the project is all of the data they collect is released without embargo.

Weiner:    That is, we don't hold onto the data, we just make it very publicly available —  all the clinical data from the patients, the images, the MRIs, the PET scans, the blood tests, the neuropsychological tests — and that has led to huge interest in the data. A lot of use by many people and many, many dozens of papers have been written with ADNI data. The economic benefits would be huge because companies could benefit and the benefits to humanity would be great because it would foster more exchange of information.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.