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Data Stories | Exploring the teenage brain


Researchers at the University of Cambridge merged data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas with MRI brain scans and made an important discovery about the teenage brain.

The U-Change study, led by Prof. Ed Bullmore, used MRI to study the brain structure of almost 300 individuals aged 14-24 years old. Dr. Kirstie Whitaker found that some unexpected structural changes are still ongoing in adolescence. Her collaborator, Dr. Petra Vertes, related these MRI observations to the Allen Human Brain Atlas and found that the changes taking place in the brains of teens are highly correlated with genes linked to schizophrenia.

The results of this study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The U-Change study was funded by a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust to the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN) Consortium. Dr. Vertes was funded by an MRC fellowship in bioinformatics.

[Video and text source: Allen Institute YouTube channel]