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The Human Brain Library

A humanized neuroimaging database to fight brain disease

The Human Brain Library is designed to correlate brain anatomy and pathology with the symptoms actual patients experience. Like a Rosetta Stone for the human brain, it will allow researchers to use multiple biomarkers to predict and thus influence future patients' outcomes through personalized medicine.

The project to create The Human Brain Library entails a final collection of images and tissues from 1,000 cases representing major neurological disorders as well as different stages of brain maturation in healthy individuals. All brain images and data will be cataloged together with personal medical and genetic information; the biographies of the patients; and the results of a variety of tests, ranging from IQ and cognitive functioning to personality. Most importantly, the complete archive will be accessible via the web for collaborative initiatives.

The Human Brain Library project is positioned ideally in the space between two predominant areas of brain research: large-scale population studies based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and molecular-level (genetic) investigations aimed at drug development. MRI databases exist and are available for retrospective studies; they show patterns and trends in brain function and structure at the macroscopic level. On the other end of the spectrum, animal models are used for cellular and molecular research into the mechanisms of disease. The Human Brain Library will contain correlated information from MRI, pathology, behavior, and genetics of each individual participant, validating the knowledge created by MRI and translating cellular-level research into tangible cures.

Project participants, regardless of their age, social status, and health conditions, contribute to the project so they can be part of the cure for other patients like them in the future. They also will their brains to the program, just as collectors would bequeath their most valuable artwork to a public museum. This is crucial because only by examining the actual organ microscopically is it possible to design drug therapies that act at the cellular level. Our innovative digitally-powered brain bank, supported by a strong network of healthcare professionals, is at the core of The Human Brain Library.

Enrollment Chart

  • Group I. Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy Bodies Disease
  • Group II. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Group III. Traumatic Brain Injury (chronic) and diseases of the White Matter. 
  • Group IV. Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor
  • Group V. Control Cohort (age-matched groups without neurological diagnoses)

To contribute to this effort as a health professional or as a participant, or to learn about philanthropic and sponsorship opportunities please contact