Disease Studies

HCP Disease studies apply HCP-style data collection protocols toward subject cohorts at risk for, or suffering from, diseases or disorders affecting the brain, with a goal of providing data that is comparable to healthy HCP subjects across the lifespan.

Shared data generated by the HCP Disease Projects are not currently available in the NDA, but are planned for release in 2018.

  1. Alzheimer's Disease Connectome Project
  2. Amish Connectome Project
  3. Changes in Visual Cortical Connectivity Following Central Visual Field Loss
  4. Connectomes Related to Anxiety and Depression
  5. Connectomic Imaging in Familial and Sporadic Frontotemporal Degeneration
  6. Connectomics in Brain Aging and Dementia
  7. Dimensional Connectomics of Anxious Misery
  8. Epilepsy Connectome Project
  9. Human Connectome for Early Psychosis
  10. Human Connectomes for Low Vision, Blindness, and Sight Restoration
  11. Mapping Connectomes for Disordered Mental States
  12. Neural Disconnection and Errant Visual Perception in Psychotic Psychopathology
  13. Perturbation of the Treatment of Resistant Depression Connectome by Fast-Acting Therapies
  14. The Structural and Functional Connectome across AD Subtypes

 

Alzheimer's Disease Connectome Project

PI: Barbara Bendlin, Shi-Jiang Li

 

The Alzheimer’s Disease Connectome Project (ADCP) will collect data from participants who range from cognitively healthy to those with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. The goal is to develop robust technology to accurately stage Alzheimer’s disease across the full spectrum of its progression on an individual subject basis.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access | Back to Top

 

 

Amish Connectome Project

PI: Elliot Hong, Peter Kochunov

 

The Amish Connectome Project (ACP) will collect data from extensive, multi-generational Old Order Amish (OOA) families with a high prevalence of mental disorders. 

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Changes in Visual Cortical Connectivity Following Central Visual Field Loss

PI: Kristina Visscher

 

People who have macular degeneration often lose the ability to see in the part of their vision normally used for daily tasks such as reading and recognizing faces. This often-debilitating loss is expected to afflict 3 million US citizens by 2020. An essential health-related goal is therefore to develop strategies that allow patients with macular degeneration to make better use of their spared peripheral vision. Despite loss of central vision, many patients learn to successfully navigate the world, becoming adept at using peripheral vision for tasks normally done with central vision.

 

The mechanisms underlying this visual plasticity are not known, but are of great clinical interest, because better understanding can lead to improved treatment strategies following vision loss. Plasticity after macular degeneration is also of great basic science interest because it provides insight to nervous system plasticity in a human model, which is key for understanding and treating a host of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Connectomes Related to Anxiety & Depression

PI: John Gabrieli, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli

 

The Connectomes Related to Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents Project is a collaborative effort among researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), McLean Hospital, and Boston University. We will focus on understanding psychiatric disorders in adolescence, in particular those associated with two leading causes of death in adolescents and young adults (suicide and substance-abuse related accidents). Our research is guided by the “Acute Threat/Fear” and the “Reward/Prediction Error” construct.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Connectomic Imaging in Familial & Sporadic Frontotemporal Degeneration

PI: Murray Grossman

 

Frontotemporal Dementia Connectomics (FTDConn) - Neurodegenerative disease is a major public health problem. Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a clinical neurodegenerative condition that affects both gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) and causes a network disorder. 

 

FTD is an excellent model for directly imaging the neurobiology of neurodegeneration because the associated pathology involves a monoproteinopathy in each patient - either frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) due to tau (FTLD-tau) or to TAR DNA binding protein of ~43kD (FTLD-TDP). We use a connectomic approach to identify FTLD-tau and FTLD-TDP in vivo.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

 

 

Connectomics in Brain Aging and Dementia

PI: James Becker

 

The Connectomics in Brain Aging and Dementia Project (CBA) will address specific questions related to structure, function, AD, aging and vascular disease in multi-modality studies leveraging the differential advantages of MRI, fMRI, MEG, and in vivo Aβ imaging.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Dimensional Connectomics of Anxious Misery

PI: Yvette Sheline

 

Every year more than 30% (2 billion) of the world’s population and 75 million adult Americans suffer from disorders that have been lumped under the term “anxious misery.” Among patients who receive treatment, a large number remain with debilitating symptoms, often for years or decades. Recently, the NIMH has led efforts to define constructs within the Negative Valence System (NVS) that cut across such disorders in order to spur research on underlying mechanisms. The Dimensional Connectomics of Anxious Misery Project will focus on potential brain circuitry and behaviors associated with loss and responses to sustained threat, two of the most central NVS dimensions.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Epilepsy Connectome Project

PI: Jeff Binder, Beth Meyerand

 

The Epilepsy Connectome Project (ECP) will focus on gaining a better understanding of why some patients respond well to anticonvulsant therapy, whereas others develop controlled seizures and progressive brain dysfunction.  The ECP will use imaging tools for quantitatively characterizing the structural and functional connections between brain regions to aid in treating refractory epilepsy.  Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the most common form of epilepsy in adults and the largest group among those with medically refractory seizures, will be a key focus of the study.  The study will explore a number of issues relating to connectivity abnormalities, such as:  the impact of recurring seizures over many years in TLE, the correlation to cognitive and psychosocial dysfunction observed in people with TLE, that the severity predicts the risk of subsequent decline in cognitive and psychosocial function, and that the severity predicts the risk of developing medically refractory seizures.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Human Connectome Project for Early Psychosis

PI: Alan Breier, Martha Shenton

 

The main goal of the Human Connectome Project for Early Psychosis is to acquire high quality imaging, behavioral, clinical, cognitive, and genetic data on an important cohort of early psychosis patients, in a manner consistent with the original Human Connectome Project, where data from this project will be made available to the research community for future studies.

 

We focus on early psychosis (both affective and non-affective psychosis), within the first 5 years of the onset of psychotic symptoms.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

 

Human Connectomes for Low Vision, Blindness, and Sight Restoration

PI: Geoffrey Aguirre, Vivek Patel, Yonggang Shi

 

Visual impairments (blindness and low vision) severely and negatively impact the quality of life. New sight-restoration treatments have arrived for some blinding diseases. In many cases, remarkable results have been demonstrated, suggesting that at least partial vision restoration is possible after prolonged blindness. However, psychophysical data from clinical trials often show large variance in outcomes. Preconditions in brain structure and function associated with the central visual pathway (CVP) may underlie some of the variance.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

Mapping Connectomes for Disordered Mental States

PI: Leanne Williams

 

Our objective is to use HCP protocols to acquire and make public a large dataset of imaging, behavioral, and symptom data from patients with disordered emotional states. We will also develop and make public new methods for examining how connectome disorganization gives rise to these disordered states at the level of the individual patient.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

 

Neural Disconnection & Errant Visual Perception in Psychotic Psychopathology

PI: Scott Sponheim

 

Distorted perception is a defining feature of severe mental disorders and contributes to the impaired reality testing of people with psychosis. Growing evidence indicates that individuals with psychotic disorders have compromised connections in the brain which may account for perceptual distortions and hallucinations. The Psychosis Human Connectome Project (P-HCP) will collect data on people with psychosis (PwP), their first-degree biological relatives, and healthy controls in order to examine possible endophenotypic markers of psychosis. The goal of this project is to use state-of-the-art brain imaging from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) in concert with sophisticated visual tasks to develop and test neurophysiological models of basic and complex visual functions of the brain in order to understand the origins of distorted perception in psychosis.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

 

Perturbation of the Treatment of Resistant Depression Connectome by Fast-Acting Therapies

PI: Randall Espinoza, Katherine Narr, Danny Wang

 

The goal of this project is to identify connectome-specific correlates and predictors of successful treatment outcomes in patients with severe depression followed prospectively while receiving one of three rapidly acting therapeutic interventions. These interventions include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), serial ketamine infusion, and total sleep deprivation (TSD). Via neurostimulation, pharmacological or behavioral perturbation, each elicits relatively robust antidepressant effects and has a distinct mode of access to the central nervous system. A related goal is to characterize variations in neural connectivity associated with individual clinical, behavioral or physiological factors that distinguish patients with severe depression from demographically similar non-depressed controls.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top

 

 

 

The Structural & Functional Connectome across AD Subtypes

PI: John Ringman

 

This study explores Alzheimer’s disease (AD), specifically those of Mexican Mestizo origin.  AD can be divided into subtypes by genetic origins, each of which may have distinct pathogenetic cascades and therefore may respond differentially to treatments. 

 

By applying the HCP protocol to persons at-risk for fully-penetrant autosomal dominant AD (ADAD due to either the A431E PSEN1 or V717I APP mutations) in conjunction with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of tau using the novel ligand 18F-T807, we will be able to test the hypothesis that tau pathology spreads in a trans-synaptic manner along definable neural pathways.

 

Learn More: Study Website | NDA Collection | Request Access| Back to Top