Non-human primate neuroimaging data may improve understanding of human brain disorders

International researchers from the Child Mind Institute in New York have released non-human primate brain imaging data sets aimed to develop wiring diagrams and improve the understanding of brain disorders in humans.  

The research—a total of 25 independent data collections from 22 imaging sites published Sept. 27 in Neuron—details the rationale, design and procedures for the PRIMatE Data Exchange (PRIME-DE) consortium, an open science resource for the neuroimaging community that aims to aggregate and share anatomical, functional and diffusion MRI data sets from international laboratories.  

“The goal is to accelerate the development of a map of the neural connections in the non-human primate brain — and, ultimately, the human brain — in an effort to develop biomarkers for mental health disorders and other brain disorders and diseases,” according to a recent news release from the institute. 

The research also examines premeditated challenges when analyzing non-human primate MRI datasets, including the need to provide automated quality assessment of the contributed datasets, explained lead author Michael P. Milham, MD, PhD, vice president of research at the Child Mind Institute, and colleagues.  

"The PRIMatE Data Exchange is an effort to encourage and enable the independent collection and sharing of brain imaging data through the International Neuroimaging Data-Sharing Initiative (INDI),” Milham said in a prepared statement. “The ultimate goal is to accelerate research that improves our understanding of how the human brain works and translates that understanding into enhanced methods for the diagnosis and treatment of a range of brain disorders."