Brain maturation and aging: Large brain MRI database

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Japan has a super-aging population; thus, it is important to preserve cognitive function for the entire lifespan by preventing pathological brain aging. To achieve the aim, we have compiled a large brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) database of around 3000 subjects aged from 5 to 80 years to reveal how the brain develops and ages. We have also collected data on several cognitive functions, lifestyle factors such as eating and sleeping habits, and genetic data. Using the database, we have revealed normal brain development and aging, and have revealed what factors affect brain development and aging. For example, there were significant negative correlations between alcohol consumption and the gray-matter volume of the fronto-parietal region, and between the body mass index and the gray-matter volume of the hippocampus in a cross-sectional analysis. In addition, having intellectual curiosity showed significant negative correlation with regional gray-matter volume decline rate in the temporo-parietal region. These findings help to understand the mechanism of brain development and aging, and to perform differential diagnosis or diagnosis at an early stage of several diseases/disorders such as autism and Alzheimer's. In addition, we introduce the Tohoku Medical Megabank Project, in which we will are compiling a brain MRI database of around 30,000 healthy subjects. By performing the project, we aim to build a system of preventive medicine for several diseases/disorders such as Alzheimer's.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemory in a Social Context
Subtitle of host publicationBrain, Mind, and Society
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9784431565918
ISBN (Print)9784431565895
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 15


  • Brain aging
  • Brain development
  • Database
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Normal subject
  • Preventive medicine


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