The Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration (SPIN) cohort: A data set for biomarker discovery and validation in neurodegenerative disorders

Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2019 Oct 14;5:597-609. doi: 10.1016/j.trci.2019.09.005. eCollection 2019.


Introduction: The SPIN (Sant Pau Initiative on Neurodegeneration) cohort is a multimodal biomarker platform designed for neurodegenerative disease research following an integrative approach.

Methods: Participants of the SPIN cohort provide informed consent to donate blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples, receive detailed neurological and neuropsychological evaluations, and undergo a structural 3T brain MRI scan. A subset also undergoes other functional or imaging studies (video-polysomnogram, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET, amyloid PET, Tau PET). Participants are followed annually for a minimum of 4 years, with repeated cerebrospinal fluid collection and imaging studies performed every other year, and brain donation is encouraged.

Results: The integration of clinical, neuropsychological, genetic, biochemical, imaging, and neuropathological information and the harmonization of protocols under the same umbrella allows the discovery and validation of key biomarkers across several neurodegenerative diseases.

Discussion: We describe our particular 10-year experience and how different research projects were unified under an umbrella biomarker program, which might be of help to other research teams pursuing similar approaches.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Biomarkers; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Frontontemporal dementia; Neurodegeneration; Neuroimaging.