The tools for imaging genetics

Today, many common diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, and psychiatric disorders, are situations that cause major human suffering for patients and the accompanying persons, without clear diagnostics and succesful treatments. Many single reasons originating from environment, development, lifestyle or genetic predispositions are suspected to have cumulative effects to trigger the diseases or to hamper their treatment when medications exist.

Large population imaging studies are ones of the tools that are setup, to address these public health issues which remain essentially not understood. International reference or disease-focused cohorts are being built, including demographics, eCRF, medical images and in some cases high throughput molecular data (genotyping, gene expression, methylation). Because of their size and multi-level content, they are expected to provide biomarkers, clues to the molecular processes involved, an understanding of causal pathways, pharmaceuticals target candiates and ways to identify risks groups.

The comprehension of impaired biological mechanisms requires a better understanding of how they work in control conditions and the reference imaging-cohort also bring the opportunity to better understand fundamental neurosciences.