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MRI Scan of the Brain Can Reveal Your Age

by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  August 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM Health In Focus   - G J E 4
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A brain scan that uses MRI can reveal your age with a maximum error of one year, according to researchers from 10 different universities, who reported their findings in the journal Current Biology.
 MRI Scan of the Brain Can Reveal Your Age
MRI Scan of the Brain Can Reveal Your Age

The researchers analyzed the brain scans using different MRI techniques of 885 people between the ages of 3 and 20 years. By combining 231 biomarkers (these were some structural features of the brain known to change over time), they were able to assess the age of the individuals with 92 percent accuracy. The biomarkers help to determine the signs of maturation of the brain. This combination approach enabled the researchers to capture the multidimensional nature of the brain and the patterns of change that occur with development.

It is possible that this method of age estimation might be sensitive to developing abnormality of the brain and also assist in our understanding of conditions like autism and attention deficit hyperkinetic disorder. There is a possibility that such data could be used in the court of law to make sure that a person with a brain age of a minor should not be tried as an adult.

The age of the participants included in the study is limited. It remains to be seen if these findings could be extended over wider age groups.

The study is thus a landmark study that would help researchers better understand how our brain can reveal our age.

Reference:
1. http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/08/17/3569308.htm
2. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816121954.htm

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