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Brain Imaging

View images of the brain from healthy and unhealthy individuals, ranging in age from 2 weeks to 86 years.

Source: The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Infant: healthy, 2 weeks
Despite a massive overproduction of neurons, the brain remains immature at birth. The infant brain is approximately a quarter the size of the adult brain. While the spinal cord and brain stem are fairly well developed, the cerebral cortex is still rather primitive.

Source: The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Infant: Healthy, 13 months
The brain grows rapidly during the first year, and growth slows during the second. By the end of the first year, the brain will be approximately 72% its adult volume. Grey matter volume, which is made up of cell bodies, increases dramatically during the first year and reaches a lifetime maximum around age 2.

Source: Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources, Commons License

Toddler & Preschool: Healthy, 5 years
Grey matter has started to decline, but white matter will increase well into adulthood.    White matter contains nerve fibers surrounded by a fat called myelin that gives it a white appearance. Myelin increases the speed of transmission of nerve signals. We start life with many more neurons and synapses than we will use. They are gradually pruned away throughout childhood.

Source: Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources, Commons License

School-age: Healthy, 9 years
The growth in brain weight is beginning to level off, and will likely reach adult levels by age ten. While overall grey matter volume is declining, the changes are regionally specific. Grey matter increases in the frontal lobe and parietal lobe into preadolescence.

Source: The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Adolescence & Young Adult: Healthy, 15 years
Grey matter increases in the temporal lobe during adolescence with a slight decline thereafter. Grey matter also increases in the occipital lobe. The increase in grey matter during adolescence is important because there might be a second critical wave of overproduction and pruning of synapses and neurons.

Source: Open Access Series of Imaging Studies (OASIS)

Adolescent & Young Adult: Healthy, 28 years
The head has reached its maximum size. The thickness of cortical grey matter is thinner than that of children. The growth of white matter has leveled off.

Source: Open Access Series of Imaging Studies (OASIS)

Adult, Healthy, 46 years
This is the magnetic resonance images of a forty-six year old brain. The structure is relatively the same as the young adult, with the exception of their being less grey matter. This is an adult brain. Use it to compare healthy development in younger brains, older brains, and diseased brains.

 
Source: The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Old Age, Healthy, 70 years
Grey matter has continued to thin. There is some shrinkage of brain structures associated with aging, though many structures remain unaffected in healthy individuals.

Source: Open Access Series of Imaging Studies (OASIS)

Mid Cognitive Impairment or Early Alzheimer's Disease, 86 years
Images of an 86 year-old patient with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). AD is a form of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms get worse over time. In these slides you can see atrophy or deterioration in the frontal lobe and temporal lobe

Source: The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Huntington's Diseases
Huntington’s disease is a genetic disease caused by a defect on chromosome 4. Early symptoms include changes in mood, memory, and other cognitive symptoms, but eventually, the disease will cause severe motor impairment, dementia, and death. In these slides you can see atrophy, or deterioration, of the basal ganglia, which is involved in normal motor functioning.

Source: The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Radiology

Stroke
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops due to a clogged or burst artery. Without blood or oxygen, brain cells begin to die. This patient had a stroke that damaged the temporal lobe and now suffers from Wernicke’s Aphasia. Patients with Wernicke’s aphasia can speak fluidly, but the content of their speech makes little sense.  These patients also have difficulty understanding the speech of others.

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