“A brain that can think critically, that can function under stress, a brain that is resilient in the face of trauma, a brain that is creative, that is thoughtful, that is socially active … we all need and want that kind of brain.” — Admiral (ret.) William McRaven, spokesperson for BrainHealth Week
For decades, growth charts have been used by paediatricians as reference tools. The charts allow health professionals to plot and measure a child’s height and weight from birth to young adulthood. The percentile scores they provide, especially across multiple visits, help doctors screen for conditions such as obesity or inadequate growth, which fall at the extremes of these scores.
Meanwhile, it is possible to measure brain development with imaging technologies such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerised tomography (CT). The development of these technologies has led to a wealth of research on how the brain changes, and each year, millions of clinical brain scans are performed worldwide. Despite this progress, there are few measures that are used to aid in monitoring brain development. Why? [Read more…] about Collaborative neuroimaging initiative BrainChart helps chart how brains change across the lifespan
Dementia Comes 5 Years Later for Some (MedPage Today):
A cognitively active lifestyle that involves reading and processing information in old age may delay the onset of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 5 years, a longitudinal study suggested.
Older adults who had the highest level of late-life cognitive activity had a mean onset age of Alzheimer’s dementia of 94, reported Robert Wilson, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues.
In contrast, those with the lowest late-life cognitive activity levels developed dementia at age 89, they wrote in Neurology. [Read more…] about Study finds that cognitive activity in old age may delay the onset of dementia by 5 years
MS risk in children spotted with MRI brain scans (Yale News):
“By the time multiple sclerosis (MS) is diagnosed in children, it may be difficult to prevent the disabilities and relapses that come with the disease. In a new Yale School of Medicine study, researchers examined MRI brain scans to identify children at high risk of developing MS before symptoms appear, which [Read more…] about Next: Brain scans to identify children at high risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) before symptoms appear
A remarkable milestone occurs in children around their fourth birthdays: They learn that other people can have different thoughts than they do. A recent study is the first to examine the specific brain changes associated with this developmental breakthrough. [Read more…] about Study identifies brain circuits enabling four-year-olds to “put themselves in other people’s shoes”
Brain Scans Could Identify Kids at Risk of Depression (Smithsonian):
“One of the most frightening aspects of depression is the fact that, once someone suffers a depressive episode, they’re very likely to have another. And depression itself often brings other ills, from substance abuse to heart disease [Read more…] about Study: Brain scans may predict depression risk better than clinical rating scales, paving the way for earlier preventive treatments