King’s College London: Brain Age

Imagine you are visiting your doctor for your annual physical. She tells you that while you are otherwise a healthy 40-year-old, after looking at your chest x-ray she says you have the lungs of a 60-year-old. But it’s OK, we can do something about it. You can change your lifestyle or go on medication that may help to save your life. This type of direct messaging can be extremely effective. Can we have the same kind of intuitive measure to communicate test result, but with regards to the brain?

Modern artificial intelligence has brought neuroimaging into a new era. With recent developments in deep learning and convolutional neural networks, it is now possible to rapidly diagnose an individual’s “brain age” as compared to a healthy average. This can result in the early detection of neurodegenerative disorders and psychological ailments that traditionally take far longer to become symptomatic. However, is the technology really ready for mass adoption? We explore the practical, psychological, and monetary hurdles that need to be overcome in order to bring this new technology to market.

Zack Meyers, Sophie Jacos, Parandè Tayebi