Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 3 (ADNI 3)

The Problem
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often do not show symptoms during the early stages of disease, limiting clinicians’ ability to diagnose and treat them early. Yet early treatment is linked to better patient outcomes.
The Solution
ADNI with support from the Private Partner Scientific Board will use brain imaging to identify early-stage markers of Alzheimer’s disease, helping clinicians to diagnose patients and intervene as early as possible.



The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a landmark partnership and study that for years has profoundly influenced our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is identifying the earliest changes in brain structure and function that signal its onset and progression of AD. The study has been led by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) with support from the FNIH and more than 30 private-sector organizations since its launch in 2004. ADNI has gone through several peer-reviewed renewals since ADNI1, in 2014, with ADNI-GO and ADNI2. ADNI3 partnership and study was launched in 2016 and is expected to continue through 2022.

ADNI3 and ADNI3 Private Partner Scientific Board (PPSB) builds on the success of previous phases by pursuing new activities, including the following:

  • Recruiting up to 1,200 volunteers, including approximately 500 rollover participants, to enrich ADNI’s existing dataset.
  • Performing cutting-edge systems biology analyses to holistically assess complex interactions between the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Assessing cognitive function through computer tests, conducted both at home and in the doctor’s office, and using the Financial Capacity Instrument Short Form (FCI-SF) to measure changes in subjects’ ability to handle money, which can signal onset of disease.
  • Using state-of-the-art Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging techniques to monitor brain levels of tau, a protein that is often abnormal in Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Early Frames is a PPSB supported add-on study that aims to determine whether blood flow throughout the brain, measured by PET early frame measurements, can be used to measure cognitive decline. It will measure the spread of a PET tracer in at least 100 subjects’ brains immediately after introducing the tracer into their bodies. This procedure will be conducted at two different time intervals, 2 years apart, to assess differences over time. If successful, this add-on project could help drug developers better understand the utility.

Additional NIA resources about ADNI can be found here.

FNIH Contact


  • Detect AD at the earliest stage possible and identify ways to track the disease through biomarkers.
  • Support advances in AD intervention, prevention and treatment through the application of new diagnostic methods – at the earliest stages technically possible, when intervention may be most effective.
  • Continually develop ADNI’s data access policy and continuously improve and expand its unprecedented data sharing model.

Results & Accomplishments

  • The current enrollment of ADNI3 is 975 participants, made up of 440 rollover participants from ADNI-2 and 535 new participants.
  • Significant results from the PET Core include informative longitudinal amyloid PET and baseline and longitudinal tau PET data. Mass spec analysis for amyloid 42/40 from ADNI plasma shows highly significant prediction of amyloid PET status.
  • With its commitment to open-access data, ADNI has stimulated Research at all levels with a trail of over 24,500 data use requests, 131 million downloads of data and 2,300 manuscript submissions as of August 2020.

Scientific Publications

1800+ ADNI publications available here


  • FNIH Press Release (Sept. 8, 2016): Patient Advocacy Groups, Industry and Individuals Join Groundbreaking Public-Private Partnership to Continue Advancing Critical Alzheimer’s Disease Research Read more


ADNI3 is projected to end in August 2022. There are currently approximately 30 private organizations on the Private Partner Scientific Board. To learn more about joining the ADNI3 Private Partner Scientific Board a partnership overview can be found here. For more information, please contact Heidi Blythe, Director, Strategic Alliances and Advancement, at [email protected].

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