A MRI(magnetic resonance imaging) may help determine whether there are any problems with your brain, but researchers at multiple universities have discovered a new use for the MRI that has less to do with your health and more to do with your age? Yep that’s right, Timothy Brown from UCSD(University of California, San Diego) and researchers from nine different universities have reported today in the journal Current Biology that their test results indicated that they were able to determine a patients exact age within year accurately using the MRI.
Brown explained the experiment in a press release today: “We have uncovered a ‘developmental clock’ of sorts within the brain — a biological signature of maturation that captures age differences quite well, regardless of other kinds of differences that exist across individuals.” They experimented on 885 people from age 3 to age 20 and by identifying 231 biomarkers in the brain, they were able to determine the patient’s age with 92% accuracy, the highest to date in determining age. By combining the 231 biomarkers instead of normally separating them, they were able to more accurately determine an age according to Brown.
We’ll have to see if the team continues to have such success as they progress into a wider range of ages as being off by a year or two is completely different when talking about a 3 year old or talking about an 80 year old. Nonetheless it is still a good step forward on research on how our brain reflects our age. Let us know what you think of the experiment in the comments section below.