How the brain changes with age: a study of Chinese scientists

Until recently it was believed that, although the structure of the human brain and changes with age, but this happens quite slowly, and in the adult, these changes are imperceptible, according to

Now Chinese scientists have made a discovery that shows that this opinion is not true, and that there are certain features of the structure, characteristic not only for the maturation or aging, but also growing up. The employees of Beijing Jiao Tong University, said that between the brains of man, only entered into the period of maturity, and the person who is in the Prime of Mature age, there is a significant difference.


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The team analyzed publicly available brain images of 111 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 years. These pictures were made using diffusion spectral imaging, imaging methods, allowing to estimate the geometric structure of the brain. In particular, this technique provides an opportunity to measure some important parameters such as fractional anisotropy – diameter, density and number of neural connections in specific regions of the brain. The researchers found that this parameter decreases significantly with age, and found out the areas in which changes begin in the first place. These changes were so obvious that it was possible to tell exactly how many years old man, just looking at the picture of his brain.

In the course of scientific work, scientists have not studied whether there is a relationship between reduced fractional anisotropy and cognitive function in older age, but perhaps such a relationship exists.