Brain development to observe the changes in our age: Shots

Scientists have analyzed a large number of brains to learn more about brain development, from childhood to the end of life.

Keith Srakocic / AP


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Keith Srakocic / AP


Scientists have analyzed a large number of brains to learn more about brain development, from childhood to the end of life.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The human brain starts with a lump and ends with a rash.

That’s the result of a program that used more than 120,000 brain scans to capture body changes throughout life. The results will be published in the April 6 issue of the journal so so.

Among the key facts:

  • The brain can reach 80% of its size by age 3.
  • The number of gray matter, which shows brain cells, increases before age 6.
  • The number of whites – a way of measuring relationships between brain sources – has risen over the past 29 years.
  • Whites began to disappear after 50 years.

The study could lead to growth charts that allow physicians to look for signs of atypical growth in young patients. But now, the consequences are expected for scientists studying normal brain development or brain diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

One goal is to “use this vast amount of available data to assist in the understanding and management of psychiatric disorders,” said one of the research authors, Drs. Aaron Alexander-Bloch, is a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Children’s Hospital.

The program began more than six years ago when two young researchers began at a scientific meeting to talk about a simple question: How does the human brain change their lives?

They found no positive response because most studies involving MRI brain scans were limited to a small number of people at one time. In addition, the studies used different techniques and stored their data in different ways.

So the researchers have an idea.

The researchers decided to turn studies of less than 100 studies into one major one

“We can combine these other studies with all of this common data to create a kind of truth and common language,” said Richard Bethlehem, a research fellow in the psychiatry department at the University of California. Cambridge.

Bethlehem and Jakob Seidlitz, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, began asking other researchers if they would contribute their research data to the practice.

“And when everyone came back and said,‘ This is a good thing, we need to do this, ’” Seidlitz said.

They brought together a global team and began the difficult task of converting less than 100 small scholarships into one large school.

“Richard and I spent months actually storing a lot of this data,” Seidlitz said.

They begin to see what the brain is like

As a result, they obtained brain scan data from 100,000 people, from fetus to centenarian. And when they look at the data, they start to see what the brain is like.

“One of the important things we’re starting to see is that it’s just a difference in how much the brain grows,” Seidlitz said.

The team also observed different patterns of growth of several different parts of the outermost layer of the brain and a large number of white, gray, subcortical gray matter and fluid -filled pits. called ventricles.

Despite its large size, there is still a lesson, the researchers say, in the absence of race and ethnicity. “That’s one of the things we’ve been humbled by,” he said.

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