A publicly available database of high-quality, multi-modal MR brain images of carefully screened healthy subjects, equally divided by sex, and with an equal number of subjects per age decade, would be of high value to investigators interested in the statistical study of disease. This report describes initial use of an accumulating healthy database currently comprising 50 subjects aged 20-72. We examine changes by age and sex to the volumes of gray matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid for subjects within the database. We conclude that traditional views of healthy aging should be revised. Significant atrophy does not appear in healthy subjects 60 or 70 years old. Gray matter loss is not restricted to senility, but begins in early adulthood and is progressive. The percentage of white matter increases with age. A carefully-designed healthy database should be useful in the statistical analysis of many age- and non-age-related diseases.