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Brain Imaging

PI of Betula brain imaging at UFBI: Prof. Lars Nyberg, Umeå University.

During the course of the Betula project, brain imaging have become a hot topic and has been included at different test waves of the project. Around 650 persons have participated in different studies, among half of these have been studied longitudinally (in total ca. 1000 participants).

Different techniques in nuclear medicine (SPECT & PET) have been used to study blood-flow (Elgh et al., 2003), dopamine (Nyberg et al., 2009) as well as amyloid in collaboration with scientists at the Karolinska Institute, (Mattson et al., 2015).

A MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner (1.0T) was used early on in Betula to study aging and the structure of the brain (Söderlund et al., 2003, 2004). A stronger scanner (1.5T) was later used to study the brains structure and function in relation to age in both cross sectional (Persson et al., 2006) and longitudinal studies (Nyberg et al., 2010: Persson et al., 2012). Genetic variations (COMT; APOE) was also studied (De Frias et al., 2009; Lind et al., 2006; Persson et al., 2006).

An even stronger MRI-scanner (3.0T) was used during the 5th testing of Betula to study 376 participants (25-80 years of age). This large MRI-collection has laid the foundation to several part-studies in different areas:

Aging, memory & the brain: Functional networks connected to working memory (Nyberg et al., 2014) and episodic memory (Salami et al., 2012a; Pudas et al., 2013, 2014) has been studied, as well as resting state networks (Salami et al., 2014).

Structural changes has also been investigated and related to memory and cognition (Salami et al., 2012b).

Imaging genetics: Different SNPs has been studied, such as KIBRA (Kauppi et al., 2011), BDNF (Kauppi et al., 2013), ApoE (Kauppi et al., 2014; Nyberg & Salami, 2014), ZNF/Zinc (Fernandes, 2014), COMT (Nyberg et al., 2014).

There has also been done GWAS-studies (Giddaluru et al., 2015), partly within ENIGMA (Hibar et al., 2015).