London brain scanning project underway

The Developing Human Connectome Project, led by King’s College London will scan around 1,000 new-born babies and a further 500 foetuses over the next few years.

The project will help scientists understand the origins of neurological disorders and help improve the care of babies who are born prematurely.

This is a critical stage of early childhood development; the brain grows very fast as trillions of connections form between 80 billion neurons.

The researchers adapted MRI technology, so it could be used to scan small, active babies even while still in the womb.

As the MRI programme begins to hit its stride and the imaging information is linked to clinical behavioural and genetic data on infants whose brains have been scanned, the scientists anticipate a big increase in the amount of applications to the programme.

Professor David Edwards, the Developing Human Connectome Project leader, suggests the project is:

“a major advance in understanding human brain development” and “will provide the first map of how the brain’s connections develop and how this goes wrong in disease”.The Developing Human Connectome Project, led by King’s College London will scan around 1,000 new-born babies and a further 500 foetuses over the next few years.

 

The project will help scientists understand the origins of neurological disorders and help improve the care of babies who are born prematurely.

This is a critical stage of early childhood development; the brain grows very fast as trillions of connections form between 80 billion neurons.

The researchers adapted MRI technology, so it could be used to scan small, active babies even while still in the womb.

As the MRI programme begins to hit its stride and the imaging information is linked to clinical behavioural and genetic data on infants whose brains have been scanned, the scientists anticipate a big increase in the amount of applications to the programme.

Professor David Edwards, the Developing Human Connectome Project leader, suggests the project is:

“a major advance in understanding human brain development” and “will provide the first map of how the brain’s connections develop and how this goes wrong in disease”.


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