Ongoing Investigations

ADNI data is made available to researchers around the world. As such, there are many active research projects accessing and applying the shared ADNI data. To further encourage Alzheimer’s disease research collaboration, and to help prevent duplicate efforts, the list below shows the specific research focus of the active ADNI investigations. This information is requested annually as a requirement for data access.

Principal Investigator  
Principal Investigator's Name: Erika Ball
Institution: Duke University
Department: Department of Statistical Science
Proposed Analysis: Our interest in the ADNI data is for statistical analysis: we have developed a new method for performing quantile regression and wish to use the ADNI data as a case study. Specifically, we are interested in exploring the relationship between age and the Alzheimer's Disease biomarker hippocampal volume. Incorporating categorical variables such as gender and disease status from the ADNI database can help us explore the impact of data groupings on our statistical results. Any additional variables to which we are granted access will help us test the computer code's capacity for dealing with a large number of explanatory variables. Applying a new statistical method to real data, as opposed to simulated data, helps bring to light the unforeseen effects of complex data relationships such as outliers, interactions, and nonlinearities. We believe that the error distribution for hippocampal volume has the potential for multi-modality, heavy tails, and changing variability over age. These challenges are ideally suited to our statistical method, which is designed to estimate any/all quantiles (e.g. the median or 90th or 99th percentile) of a regression with arbitrary error distribution. The statistical methods have been applied to a few data examples previously (early draft of forthcoming paper available at If all goes as planned, this data will help in the further refinement and testing of our statistical method, and the case study will be featured in a future paper. We are amenable to the acknowledgment requirements outlined by the Initiative for any potential publications involving the ADNI data.
Additional Investigators  
Investigator's Name: Surya Tokdar
Proposed Analysis: Please see previous request.
Investigator's Name: Wenli Shi
Proposed Analysis: Please see previous description.