6000 subjects in major imaging study available for researchers

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UK Biobank and AMRA have announced that the 6000 subjects have now been analysed for body composition through their globally-acclaimed health study and are now available for medical research.

Scientists and researchers intending to use the data in research related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illness are now able to apply for unlimited access via the UK Biobank website.
Over the last decade, UK Biobank has gathered a wide range of information about its 500,000 participants’ health and well-being, including genetic data and health record data.

In 2016, UK Biobank launched the world’s largest health imaging study, focused on dedicated imaging of the brain, heart, bones, carotid arteries, and body composition of 100,000 UK Biobank participants. 
AMRA was tasked with performing the precise fat and muscle measurement of all 100,000 UK Biobank body MRIs, to be completed over the course of several years of data collection.

The company’s analysis of the first 6000 MRI scans from UK Biobank has already resulted in several accepted abstract presentations by AMRA. These show a link between body composition and coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sarcopenia, and an increased healthcare burden associated with visceral obesity.
Through the phased release of these extensive datasets, UK Biobank will provide scientists and researchers with the ability to support clinical trials and produce the new biomarkers that will allow for the improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide range of diseases, from diabetes to dementia. One of AMRA’s goals is to redefine obesity through better understanding of individual metabolic risk, and, ultimately, to assist in the prediction and prevention of disease.
Tommy Johansson, Chief Executive Officer of AMRA, said: “I’m looking forward to watching and learning how this initial data set – and the many scheduled to follow – will be used to help support clinical trials, improve treatments, and ultimately prevent disease. 6000 MRI scans analysed and available for researchers, with only 94,000 to go!”
Professor Cathie Sudlow, Chief Scientist of UK Biobank, said: “This is a great opportunity for researchers and one that I’m sure will swiftly be taken advantage of.”

Prof Sudlow added that UK Biobank has just scanned its 20,000th volunteer. “We’re on track to scan the final, 100,000th participant by 2024. Once the entire database is available, it will be one of the world’s most powerful resources for medical research.”