The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative is the most expensive AD study the NIH has ever funded. Expectations are that it will speak with the authoritative voice of a 58-center, three-year observation of 819 research participants above a current cacophony of smaller voices touting the results of their single-center studies.
ADNI has broken ground in standardizing the exact ways in which all those centers gather data across a broad range of assessments—clinical, psychometric, imaging, biochemical—in these volunteers. It has broken ground in making those data sets freely and easily available to every scientist worldwide for analysis. It has broken ground as a pre-competitive, public-private partnership, and has inspired similar efforts around the globe. ADNI aspires to provide the data that could make it possible to predict who will get AD and how quickly they will get it, and to invite people at earlier stages, even presymptomatically eventually, into biomarker-driven therapeutic trials.