New study uses advanced imaging technique to predict brain aging

MYndspan leverages magnetoencephalography to model the trajectory of brain aging throughout the adult lifespan.

This week at the Longevity Summit Dublin, British brain health tech company MYndspan will discuss the finding of a new study that shows how its technology can be used to predict brain age and model healthy brain aging trajectories across the adult lifespan. The company uses an advanced brain imaging technology called magnetoencephalography (MEG) to predict how healthy brains age.

MYndspan claims that MEG offers advantages over other neuroimaging modalities like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) due to its superior temporal and spatial resolution. It records neural oscillations, or brain waves, providing rich datasets and facilitating a deeper understanding of brain function, development, maturation, and aging.

The study, published in Imaging Neuroscience, involved 367 participants aged between 18 and 83 and used MYndspan’s proprietary MEG analysis to model the arcs of brain aging. The study identified neurophysiological markers that indicate accelerated brain aging due to injury or disease, finding consistent associations between healthy aging and neurophysiological features across all methods. Low-frequency amplitudes decreased, while high-frequency amplitudes increased throughout the adult lifespan.

The findings underline significant age-related changes in oscillatory activity and functional networks in the brain, as measured by resting-state MEG. They also highlight the moderate reliability of cortical oscillations as markers for predictive brain age modeling. The research suggests that predictive models should consider using different approaches for various age brackets to address biases effectively.

“This study is the first to show that MEG can be used commercially to help identify brain aging through our analysis,” said Caitlin Baltzer, CEO of MYndspan. “Why does this matter? It means that we can start to identify when healthy aging isn’t taking place. And we can do this in a simple, efficient and non-invasive way making it an easy addition to an annual routine.”

Typically confined to research and clinical settings, MYndspan is bringing its MEG technology directly to consumers, currently offering scans to the public at its brain health center in Birmingham, UK. The company plans to expand to other locations across the UK and North America in the next 18 months, with the goal of making advanced brain health assessment more accessible to a broader population, supporting preventive and proactive brain health, including early detection of neurodegenerative conditions.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that numerous disorders of the brain lead to accelerated brain aging, resulting in poor cognitive and mental health outcomes,” said Dr Benjamin Dunkley, MYndspan’s Chief Science Officer. “Recent research even suggests that deleterious lifestyle habits, such as poor nutrition and a lack of exercise also play a key role in faster brain aging. Our analytical developments show that we can now accurately predict an individual’s brain age from a short scan, allowing individuals to monitor their brain age and take a more proactive approach to optimize their health and wellbeing.”

Photographs courtesy of MYndspan