Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Mental Health Awareness Week Patterns That Matter
08 May 2017

Patterns That Matter

There are millions of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans stored on hospital computers around the world, potentially holding clues to spotting brain conditions before they develop. Sufferers of anxiety or depression sometimes share common brain changes – patterns hidden in the bundles of nerve cells known as white matter. Here, a supercomputer running a machine learning algorithm examines MRI slices through a human brain, comparing them to other brains and learning as it goes. Common changes in the white matter associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) are highlighted in warm colours, with red showing areas of the formix, associated with memory. The clever coding can now compare future patients’ brains to these historic patterns, predicting those most at risk from MDD and, hopefully, leading to faster intervention and treatment.

Today sees the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

Written by John Ankers

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