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
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.