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Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2019 Jan 10;11:69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2018.11.005. eCollection 2019 Dec.

Harmonization of neuroimaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases: A survey in the imaging community of perceived barriers and suggested actions.

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Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Insititutes of Neurology and Healthcare Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology "V. Erspamer", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Department of Neuroscience, IRCCS-Hospital San Raffaele Pisana of Rome and Cassino, Rome and Cassino, Italy.
Division of Neuroscience & Experimental Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Laboratory of Alzheimer's Neuroimaging and Epidemiology, IRCCS Fatebenefratelli, Brescia, Italy.
Memory Clinic and LANVIE Laboratory of Neuroimaging of Aging, University Hospitals and University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.



Molecular, functional, and structural neuroimaging biomarkers are largely used to study neurodegenerative diseases, but their benefits to patients/science might be greatly enhanced by improving standardization and cross-validation. In this EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Diseases Research-funded project, we surveyed the neuroimaging community to assess perceived barriers in multicentric neuroimaging harmonization and actions to overcome them.


An anonymous survey addressed researchers, clinicians, pharma industry, and professional associations, inquiring about both general and modality-specific harmonization barriers.


Survey participants (459) represented an international (37 countries) multidisciplinary community. We identified two sets of funding actions, one proposing the creation of an updated hub of documents to help researchers plan and execute multicentric neuroimaging studies capitalizing from previous studies, and the other focused on modality-specific harmonization challenges in future neurodegenerative diseases clinical trials.


This large survey of priorities and actions may help define harmonization calls launched by worldwide science funding agencies.


Biomarker; EEG; Electroencephalography; Harmonization; MRI; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multicentric; Multisite; Neurodegeneration; Neuroimaging; PET; Photon emission computed tomography; Positron emission tomography; SPECT; Survey

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