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Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Jul 14;6:149. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00149. eCollection 2014.

Studying variability in human brain aging in a population-based German cohort-rationale and design of 1000BRAINS.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany.
2
Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Duisburg-Essen Essen, Germany.
3
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; Department of Genomics, Life & Brain Center, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.
4
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; Institute for Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, University of Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany.
5
McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University Montreal, QC, Canada.
6
Department of Cardiology, University of Duisburg-Essen Essen, Germany.
7
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; Department of Genomics, Life & Brain Center, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel Basel, Switzerland.
8
Department of Genomics, Life & Brain Center, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.
9
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; Institute for Science and Ethics, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.
10
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany.
11
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; JARA-BRAIN, Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance Jülich, Germany ; Department of Neurology, RWTH Aachen University Aachen, Germany.
12
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; JARA-BRAIN, Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance Jülich, Germany ; Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, RWTH Aachen University Aachen, Germany.
13
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-4, INM-8), Research Centre Jülich Jülich, Germany ; JARA-BRAIN, Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance Jülich, Germany ; C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract

The ongoing 1000 brains study (1000BRAINS) is an epidemiological and neuroscientific investigation of structural and functional variability in the human brain during aging. The two recruitment sources are the 10-year follow-up cohort of the German Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) Study, and the HNR MultiGeneration Study cohort, which comprises spouses and offspring of HNR subjects. The HNR is a longitudinal epidemiological investigation of cardiovascular risk factors, with a comprehensive collection of clinical, laboratory, socioeconomic, and environmental data from population-based subjects aged 45-75 years on inclusion. HNR subjects underwent detailed assessments in 2000, 2006, and 2011, and completed annual postal questionnaires on health status. 1000BRAINS accesses these HNR data and applies a separate protocol comprising: neuropsychological tests of attention, memory, executive functions and language; examination of motor skills; ratings of personality, life quality, mood and daily activities; analysis of laboratory and genetic data; and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, 3 Tesla) of the brain. The latter includes (i) 3D-T1- and 3D-T2-weighted scans for structural analyses and myelin mapping; (ii) three diffusion imaging sequences optimized for diffusion tensor imaging, high-angular resolution diffusion imaging for detailed fiber tracking and for diffusion kurtosis imaging; (iii) resting-state and task-based functional MRI; and (iv) fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and MR angiography for the detection of vascular lesions and the mapping of white matter lesions. The unique design of 1000BRAINS allows: (i) comprehensive investigation of various influences including genetics, environment and health status on variability in brain structure and function during aging; and (ii) identification of the impact of selected influencing factors on specific cognitive subsystems and their anatomical correlates.

KEYWORDS:

Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study; aging; cohort; connectivity; elderly; imaging genetics; resting-state; variability

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