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.