Monday, December 09, 2019

Heritable gaps between chronological age and brain age are increased in common brain disorders.

Kaufmann et al. have used machine learning on s large dataset to estimate robust estimation of individual biological brain ages on the basis of structural brain imaging features. The deviation between brain age and chronological age — termed the brain age gap — appears to be a promising marker of brain health. It was largest in schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and bipolar spectrum disorder. The authors also assessed the overlap between the genetic underpinnings of brain age gap and common brain disorders. The bottom line conclusion (from a very extensive and complex analysis) is that common brain disorders are associated with heritable patterns of apparent aging of the brain Their abstract:
Common risk factors for psychiatric and other brain disorders are likely to converge on biological pathways influencing the development and maintenance of brain structure and function across life. Using structural MRI data from 45,615 individuals aged 3–96 years, we demonstrate distinct patterns of apparent brain aging in several brain disorders and reveal genetic pleiotropy between apparent brain aging in healthy individuals and common brain disorders.

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