Imaging plays an essential role in research on neurological diseases in the elderly. The Rotterdam Scan Study was initiated as part of the ongoing Rotterdam Study with the aim to elucidate the causes of neurological disease by performing imaging of the brain in a prospective population-based setting. Initially, in 1995 and 1999, random subsamples of participants from the Rotterdam Study underwent neuroimaging, whereas from 2005 onwards MRI has been implemented into the core protocol of the Rotterdam Study. In this paper, we discuss the background and rationale of the Rotterdam Scan Study. Moreover, we describe the imaging protocol, image post-processing techniques, and the main findings to date. Finally, we provide recommendations for future research, which will also be topics of investigation in the Rotterdam Scan Study.

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Keywords Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebral blood flow, Cohort study, Dementia, Diffusion tensor imaging, Epidemiology, Genetics, Infarcts, Microbleeds, Neuroimaging, Population-based, Risk factors, Stroke, White matter lesions
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Journal European Journal of Epidemiology
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/601055 - VPH Dementia Research Enabled by IT (VPH-DARE@IT)
Ikram, M.A, van der Lugt, A, Niessen, W.J, Koudstaal, P.J, Krestin, G.P, Hofman, A, … Vernooij, M.W. (2015). The Rotterdam Scan Study: design update 2016 and main findings. European Journal of Epidemiology, 30(12), 1299–1315. doi:10.1007/s10654-015-0105-7