Journal Article MRI-based Brain Healthcare Quotients: A bridge between neural and behavioral analyses for keeping the brain healthy

Nemoto, Kiyotaka  ,  Oka, Hiroki  ,  Fukuda, Hiroki  ,  Yamakawa, Yoshinori

12 ( 10 )  , p.e0187137 , 2017-10 , Public Library of Science
Neurological and psychiatric disorders are a burden on social and economic resources. Therefore, maintaining brain health and preventing these disorders are important. While the physiological functions of the brain are well studied, few studies have focused on keeping the brain healthy from a neuroscientific viewpoint. We propose a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based quotient for monitoring brain health, the Brain Healthcare Quotient (BHQ), which is based on the volume of gray matter (GM) and the fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter (WM). We recruited 144 healthy adults to acquire structural neuroimaging data, including T1-weighted images and diffusion tensor images, and data associated with both physical (BMI, blood pressure, and daily time use) and social (subjective socioeconomic status, subjective well-being, post-materialism and Epicureanism) factors. We confirmed that the BHQ was sensitive to an age-related decline in GM volume and WM integrity. Further analysis revealed that the BHQ was critically affected by both physical and social factors. We believe that our BHQ is a simple yet highly sensitive, valid measure for brain health research that will bridge the needs of the scientific community and society and help us lead better lives in which we stay healthy, active, and sharp.

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