Brain scans may help detect psychiatric disorders
The brain scans could be used to differentiate between healthy people and those who have brain diseases or disorders.Updated: Apr 19, 2018 15:56 IST
A scan which displays how various brain regions interact, could help in diagnosing migraines, depression, bipolar disorder and a lot of other brain ailments, say scientists.
The journal Neuron published a study which says a brain scan called functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) is able to identify fundamental differences in how individual brains are wired.
This technique could be used to differentiate between healthy people and those who have brain diseases or disorders, and give an insight into variations in cognitive ability and personality traits.
“This is a step towards realising the clinical promise of functional connectivity MRI,” said Steven Petersen, a professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US.
“Before we can develop diagnostic tests based on fcMRI, we need to know what it is actually measuring. We show here that it’s not measuring what you’re thinking, but how your brain is organised. That opens the door to an entire new field of clinical testing,” Petersen said.
Researchers looked at data from more than 10 hours of fcMRI scans on nine people, which were collected in 10 separate one-hour sessions for each person. The scans involved the individuals performing tasks related to vision, memory, reading or motor skills, or rested quietly.
Functional MRI scans formulate a dynamic map of the outer surface of the brain, displaying changing hot spots of activity over time. To make a functional connectivity map, postdoctoral researcher Caterina Gratton divided the brain’s surface into 333 regions and marked areas which became active and inactive in unison.
“Brain networks captured by fcMRI are really about the individual,” Gratton said.
“Whether someone’s watching a movie or thinking about her breakfast or moving her hands makes only a small difference. You can still identify that individual by her brain networks with a glance,” she said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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First Published: Apr 19, 2018 15:55 IST