Harmonizing brain magnetic resonance imaging methods for vascular contributions to neurodegeneration

Eric E. Smith, Geert Jan Biessels, François De Guio, Frank Erik de Leeuw, Simon Duchesne, Marco Düring, Richard Frayne, M. Arfan Ikram, Eric Jouvent, Bradley J. MacIntosh, Michael J. Thrippleton, Meike W. Vernooij, Hieab Adams, Walter H. Backes, Lucia Ballerini, Sandra E. Black, Christopher Chen, Rod Corriveau, Charles DeCarli, Steven M. GreenbergM. Edip Gurol, Michael Ingrisch, Dominic Job, Bonnie Y.K. Lam, Lenore J. Launer, Jennifer Linn, Cheryl R. McCreary, Vincent C.T. Mok, Leonardo Pantoni, G. Bruce Pike, Joel Ramirez, Yael D. Reijmer, Jose Rafael Romero, Stefan Ropele, Natalia S. Rost, Perminder S. Sachdev, Christopher J.M. Scott, Sudha Seshadri, Mukul Sharma, Steven Sourbron, Rebecca M.E. Steketee, Richard H. Swartz, Robert van Oostenbrugge, Matthias van Osch, Sanneke van Rooden, Anand Viswanathan, David Werring, Martin Dichgans, Joanna M. Wardlaw

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Introduction: Many consequences of cerebrovascular disease are identifiable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but variation in methods limits multicenter studies and pooling of data. The European Union Joint Program on Neurodegenerative Diseases (EU JPND) funded the HARmoNizing Brain Imaging MEthodS for VaScular Contributions to Neurodegeneration (HARNESS) initiative, with a focus on cerebral small vessel disease. Methods: Surveys, teleconferences, and an in-person workshop were used to identify gaps in knowledge and to develop tools for harmonizing imaging and analysis. Results: A framework for neuroimaging biomarker development was developed based on validating repeatability and reproducibility, biological principles, and feasibility of implementation. The status of current MRI biomarkers was reviewed. A website was created at www.harness-neuroimaging.org with acquisition protocols, a software database, rating scales and case report forms, and a deidentified MRI repository. Conclusions: The HARNESS initiative provides resources to reduce variability in measurement in MRI studies of cerebral small vessel disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-204
Number of pages14
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Radiology
  • Stroke


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