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Lifebrain: Healthy minds from 0-100 years

Optimising the use of European brain imaging cohorts.

About the Project

Our main objective is to identify determinants of brain, cognitive and mental health at different stages of life. By integration, harmonisation and enrichment of major European neuroimaging studies of age differences and changes, we will obtain an unparalleled database of fine-grained brain, cognitive and mental health measures of more than 6.000 individuals. Longitudinal brain imaging, genetic and health data are available for a major part, as well as cognitive/mental health measures for extensively broader cohorts, exceeding 40.000 examinations in total. By linking these data, also to additional databases and biobanks, including birth registries, national and regional archives, and by enriching them with new online data collection and novel measures, we will address risk and protective factors of brain, cognitive and mental health throughout the lifespan.

We will identify the pathways through which risk and protective factors work and their moderators. Through exploitation of, and synergies with, existing European infrastructures and initiatives, this approach of integrating, harmonising and enriching brain imaging datasets will make major conceptual, methodological and analytical contributions towards large integrative cohorts and their efficient exploitation. We will thus provide novel information on brain, cognitive and mental health maintenance, onset and course of brain, cognitive and mental disorders, and lay a foundation for earlier diagnosis of brain disorders, aberrant development and decline of brain, cognitive and mental health, as well as future preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Working with stakeholders and health authorities, the project will provide the evidence base for policy strategies for prevention and intervention, improving clinical practice and public health policy for brain, cognitive and mental health. This project is realized by a close collaboration of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and major European brain research centres


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (RIA) under grant agreement No. 732592. Topic: SC1-PM-04-2016 - Networking and optimising the use of population and patient cohorts at EU level.


The research project is a collaboration between the Department of Psychology and national/international partners at University of Umeå, University of Oxford, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, University of Barcelona, The Capital Region of Denmark, The Medical Research Council UK, Vitas AS, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, VU University Amsterdam, University of Geneva, The Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, University of Cambridge and University of Lübeck.

Published Dec. 19, 2016 1:49 PM - Last modified Dec. 19, 2017 10:08 AM


Principal investigator

Professor Kristine B Walhovd 

Project type

Research and innovation action (RIA)

Horizon 2020 funding

EUR 10,000,000

Project duration

60 months

Start date

1 January 2017

End date

31 December 2021



  • Kristine Beate Walhovd
  • Anders Martin Fjell
  • Rene Westerhausen
  • Sara Pudas
  • Paolo Ghisletta
  • Hartwig Siebner
  • Andreas Brandmaier
  • Ulman Lindenberger
  • Camilla Stoltenberg
  • Christian A. Drevon
  • Rik Henson
  • Lorraine Tyler
  • Nina L.H. Reislev
  • Gabriel Ziegler
  • Ole Rogeberg
  • Roger Kievit
  • Thomas E. Gundersen
  • William Baare
  • Kathrine Skak Madsen
  • Sandra Düzel
  • David Bartrés-Faz
  • Heidi Johansen-Berg
  • Lars Nyberg
  • Brena Penninx
  • Lene Cividanes
  • Klaus Ebmeier
Detailed list of participants