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A project on optimising the use of European brain imaging cohorts – Healthy minds for 0-100 years 

  • Funded by: EU/H2020

Lifebrain logo


DRCMR is partner in the EU Horizon 2020 funded Lifebrain project (http://www.lifebrain.uio.no/). Lifebrain integrates 11 longitudinal and seven cross-sectional, mostly population-based, European cohort studies from eight research centres, investigating cognitive and mental health across the lifespan. Lifebrain is coordinated by Prof. Kristine Walhovd from the Centre for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, University of Oslo, Norway, and is realized through close collaboration of major European brain research centres and a small and VITAS, which is a medium-sized enterprise specialized in measuring biomarkers in dried blood spots (see figure below).

Lifebrain started in January 1st 2017, and is now in its second year of the five-year funding period. Lifebrain is organized in seven work packages. Senior researcher William Baaré from DRCMR is work package leader of work package 2: data management and integration.

Lifebrain aim and objectives

The main goal of Lifebrain is to identify determinants of brain, cognitive and mental health at different stages of life and to establish a solid foundation of knowledge for understanding how brain, cognitive and mental health can be optimized through the lifespan.

Lifebrain intends to link existing cohorts to national registries, biobanks and data from other large studies, and enrich them with new online data collection. By working with stakeholders and health authorities, the project strives to provide the evidence base for (personalised) policy strategies for prevention and intervention, improving clinical practice and public health policy for brain, cognitive and mental Health.

Lifebrain achievements

Lifebrain is characterized by a focused, smooth and productive collaboration across partners and has made great progress in the first two years of its existence and delivered on all project milestones. These include the development of a data storage, management and analysis infrastructure, categorization of all available data across Lifebrain data sites, initiation of online data enrichment, development of dried blood spot kits to measure specific biomarkers of interest, development of standardised brain image analyses pipelines, development of statistical tools for analysing multidimensional longitudinal and multicentre data, and stake holder engagement and outreach.

Lifebrain current status

The next phase of Lifebrain will focus on harvesting the rich data available in Lifebrain. Several studies have been initiated and are in progress. A key study investigates the role of social economic status and cognitive abilities on structural brain measures using a meta-analytic framework. Other studies focus on e.g. memory, depression, personality, and sleep. Furthermore, Lifebrain data sites are continuing to populate the Lifebrain database and restructuring and reprocessing brain image data using uniform pipelines.


Lifebrain will make major conceptual, methodological and analytical contributions towards large integrative cohorts and their efficient exploitation. Moreover, Lifebrain will provide novel information on brain, cognitive and mental health maintenance as well as onset and course of brain, cognitive and mental disorders. This will pave the way for earlier diagnosis of brain disorders, aberrant development and decline of brain, cognitive and mental health, as well as future preventive and therapeutic strategies. Lifebrain will closely work with stakeholders and health authorities to promote personalised policy strategies for prevention and intervention and improving clinical practices. Finally, Lifebrain will promote public health policies for brain, cognitive and mental health.

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Lifebrain Partners

Norway - Lifebrain Coordinator

Department of Psychology, University of Norway

Kristine Waldhoved

Anders Fjell

Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Ole Rogeberg

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Gun Peggy Knudsen

Vitas, SME

Christian A. Drevon

Thomas E. Gundersen


Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Umeå University

Lars Nyberg


Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain

Klaus Ebmeier

Medical Research Council, The Cognition and Brain Science Unit, University of Cambridge

Rik Henson

Lorraine Tyler

Rogier Kievit


Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Ulman Lindeberger

Andreas Brandmaier

Simone Kühn

 Lübeck Interdisciplinary Platform for Genome Analytics, University of Lübeck

Lars Bertram


Neuropsychology Research Group, University of Barcelona

David Partrés Faz

 The Netherlands

Department of Psychiatry, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam

Brenda Penninx


Methodology and Data Analysis Group, University of Geneva

Paolo Ghisletta


Associated Publications

Friedman, B. B., Suri, S., Solé-Padullés, C., Düzel, S., Drevon, C. A., Baaré, W. F. C., Bartrés-Faz, D., Fjell, A. M., Johansen-Berg, H., Madsen, K. S., Nyberg, L., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Sexton, C., Walhovd, K. B., Zsoldos, E. & Budin-Ljøsne, I. Are People Ready for Personalized Brain Health? Perspectives of Research Participants in the Lifebrain Consortium. The Gerontologist. 2019 Nov 4. pii: gnz155. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz155. [Epub ahead of print]

Walhovd KB, Fjell AM, Westerhausen R, Nyberg L, Ebmeier KP, Lindenberger U, Bartres-Faz D, Baare WFC, Siebner HR, Henson R, Drevon CA, Stromstad Knudsen GP, Ljosne IB, Penninx B, Ghisletta P, Rogeberg O, Tyler L, Bertram L. (2018). Healthy minds 0-100 years: Optimising the use of European brain imaging cohorts ("Lifebrain"). Eur Psychiatry. 50, 47-56.


William Frans Christiaan Baaré

Group Leader

Kathrine Skak Madsen

Karam Sidaros

Hartwig R. Siebner

Global Brain Health Survey

Click HERE to learn more about the survey.

National Collaborators

Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg Hospital 

Michael Kjær

Department of Public Health, Copenhagen University

Ellen Garde

Erik Lykke Mortensen