Paving the Way for Alzheimer's Disease Prevention: A Systematic Review of Global Open-Access Neuroimaging Datasets in Healthy Individuals

Maria Ly, Gary Z. Yu, Won Jong Chwa, Cyrus A. Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Given the advent of large-scale neuroimaging data-driven endeavors for Alzheimer's disease, there is a burgeoning need for well-characterized neuroimaging databases of healthy individuals. With the rise of initiatives around the globe for the rapid and unrestricted sharing of data resources, there is now an abundance of open-source neuroimaging datasets available to the research community. However, there is not yet a systematic review that fully details the demographic information and modalities actually available in all open access neuroimaging databases around the globe. Objective: This systematic review aims to provide compile a list of MR structural imaging databases encompassing healthy individuals across the lifespan. Methods: In this systematic review, we searched EMBASE and PubMed until May 2022 for open-access neuroimaging databases containing healthy control participants of any age, race, with normal development and cognition having at least one structural T1-weighted neuroimaging scan. Results: A total of 403 databases were included, for up to total of 48,268 participants with all available demographic information and imaging modalities detailed in Supplementary Table 1. There were significant trends noted when compiling normative databases for this systematic review, notably that 11.7% of databases included reported ethnicity in their participants, with underrepresentation of many socioeconomic groups globally. Conclusions: As efforts to improve primary prevention of AD may require a broader perspective including increased relevance of earlier stages in life, and strategies in addressing modifiable risk factors may be individualized to specific demographics, improving data characterization to be richer and more rigorous will greatly enhance these efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Alzheimer's Disease
StatePublished - 2024


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • database
  • neuroimaging
  • normative
  • open-access
  • representation
  • social determinants of health


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