Even the young minds exposed to this.
Chinese scientists have studied the changes that occur in the human brain in adulthood.
Using the method of diffusion spectral imaging, they examined brain 111 people aged 18 to 55 years of age and came to the conclusion that changes in the white matter of the brain occur throughout life, not only during active growth and aging.
The article was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
Method of diffusion spectral imaging (abbreviated to DST, this method is also known as diffusion MRI) is aimed at the visualization of the diffusion of water molecules in brain tissues, allowing you to explore its integrity. This method is often used in studies focused on differences in white matter integrity in the brains of people of different ages. Most of these studies, however, focused on changes in the human brain during its development at a young age, and the brain of the elderly, as they are most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases.
The authors of the new work used the DST method to study anatomic changes in the brain of people in adulthood before the onset of old age: the study involved 111 people aged 18 to 55 years old without neurological diseases. Among the parameters of DST, who were considered scholars, was anisotropy (unevenness) of water molecules (eng. fractional anisotropy, or FA), the average rate of diffusion (eng. mean diffusivity, or MD), as well as setting the direction of diffusion in three dimensions: radial diffusivity (eng. radial diffusivity or RD) and axial diffusivity (eng. axial diffusivity or AD). It is believed that FA increases and MD decreases in the tracts of the white matter of the brain in the process of growing and aging — on the contrary: FA decreases and MD increases. Besides, two other parameters changes of diffusion, RD, and AD, are also reduced in the process of growing and increases with aging of the brain.
Analysis results of DST showed that the obtained data showed a significant (p < 0,0001) correlation between changes in some parameters of the imaging with age. In particular, FA and AD with age decreased, RD increased. Scientists have found no correlation between age and change in average diffusely (MD).
Schedule changes of the parameters of diffusion of water molecules in brain tissue. From left to right, top to bottom: anisotropy (FA), mean diffusion coefficient (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), axial diffusivity (AD). Vertically marked a mean value of the parameter in the horizontal axis the age of the study participants
Tian & Ma / Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2017
The authors also argue that the analysis obtained in the course DST tracts they were able to calculate the age of each Respondent. Previously, this could only be done in the analysis of images obtained using fMRI.
The researchers note that to make accurate conclusions on the relationship of grow older and anatomical changes in the brains of people in such a small sample it is impossible, therefore, they indicate the importance of increasing the number of participants in such experiments and the need for longitudinal research in the future. The study of changes in the brain of adults not only gives new information about the relationship of neuroplasticity and age, but can also help in identifying the first signs of aging of the brain and loss of cognitive functions. In addition, according to the authors, their work will help psychologists and neuroscientists to better control the age of the participants of their experiments.
Scientists often study the brains of people for changes related to age, as well as looking for effective ways to stop this process. For example, in our article you can read about the positive impact of yoga in maintaining mental clarity into old age.
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