Cracking The Brain’s Genetic Code
An international team of over 300 scientists are taking on an ambitious project to identify eight common genetic mutations that appear to age the brain by three years on average. The team, known as Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis (ENIGMA) Network, hopes to pave the way for new treatments for Alzheimer’s, autism and other neurological disorders.
Led by researchers at the University of Southern California, neuroscientists from more than 190 scientific institutions are bringing together a wealth of data, including brain scans and genetic data from 33 countries around the globe to identify and target genes that either enhance or deteriorate key brain regions.
“The ENIGMA Center’s work uses vast datasets as engines of biomedical discovery; it shows how each individual’s genetic blueprint shapes the human brain,” Dr. Philip Bourne, associate director for data science at the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.
Using MRI data from more than 30,000 people, the researchers screened millions of genome variations to determine which ones affected important brain areas implicated in common neurological disorders.
They discovered eight genes that are capable of either eroding or strengthening brain tissue, which may alter the “brain reserve” by two to three —> Read More Here