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Normative Reference Databank

Any valid biomarker study requires normative reference data for comparison. Reference data vary based on several factors, including the sociodemographic background of the healthy population from which imaging data or biological samples were obtained and the specific methods and/or instruments used to collect the data/samples.

Why are reference data important?

  • Providing validated reference data/material (population level data) would be too expensive for many academic (or private) institutions.
  • Sample stratification: when selecting your normal control or patient group, e.g. for a drug trial, it is important to know beforehand what is “normal” and what is “on the edge”.

In this regard, Pharmaimage is in a worldwide unique position. Cross-sectional and longitudinal population-based normative reference data (3Tesla neuroimaging, electrophysiology, cognitive performance) and biological samples (blood, plasma) from > 3000 adult subjects across all age ranges with an emphasis on elderly subjects are available. The reference databank is continuously expanded. We expect that within the framework of the current BioCog project (funded by the European Union), the number will rise to N = 4000 healthy (elderly) subjects (www.biocog.eu) (multimodal imaging data, molecular data). All data sets included undergo regular QC. Sociodemographic data are available for all subjects and all subjects have undergone extensive cognitive testing (mostly using the Cantab® test battery). Biomarker data can be combined with demographic and cognitive endpoints. Sample stratification can be conducted on the basis of predefined cut-offs for any imaging, electrophysiological or molecular measure as well as combination of measurements. Alternatively, using the normative reference post hoc evaluations may facilitate a better understanding of the obtained study results – positive or negative.

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