Deep-Learning Machine Uses MRI Scans to Determine Your Brain
Human cognitive abilities decline with age. And neuroscientists have long known that this decline correlates with anatomical changes in the brain as well. So it’s no surprise to learn that it is possible to spot the signs of aging in MRI images of the brain and even to determine a “brain age.” The difference between brain age and chronological age can reveal the onset of conditions such as dementia.

But the analysis is lengthy because the MRI data has to be heavily processed before it is suitable for automated aging. This pre-processing includes the removal from the image of non-brain tissue such as the skull, the classification of white matter, gray matter, and other tissue, and the removal of image artefacts along with various data-smoothing techniques.

All this data crunching can take more than 24 hours, and that is a serious obstacle for doctors hoping to take into account a patient’s brain age when making a clinical diagnosis....