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Apr 10, 2017 06:54 AM EDT

USC Brain Scientist: Close Encounter with Alzheimer's Can Transform Awareness About The Illness [Video]

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A USC Brain Scientist has developed a road map that would help scientists navigate through the problem areas of brains that are suffering from diseases. The main idea is that experts can't solve the issue if they can't locate the exact location of these problems. USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute Director Arthur Toga lost a lot of loved ones to Alzheimer's disease, which made him one of the leading researchers trying to solve the problem.

The USC brain scientist leads a team of 35 researchers focused on subjects like math, engineering, physics, and of course, neuroscience. The team has developed a way to digitize and map human brains to locate the problem parts of the brain to pre-empt neirodegeneration, and fix them, USC News reported. The institute houses 4,800 terabytes of brain data, which is the largest collection of this study.

Toga said there are no other examples of collection as big and as successful as theirs. He said that their techniques are revolutionary, allowing experts to do in a matter of seconds things that are supposed to take years to do. He said this will accelerate the speed of discovering things beyond their greatest imaginations.

One notable discoveries of Toga's institute is that depressed people have smaller hippocampus, which is the memory center of the brain. This means the brain of depressed people will become more different than the typical brain the longer they suffer from the condition. It also means that earlier treatment of depression can slow down the development of brain tissue deterioration.

This is the same process with Alzheimer's disease. Through locating the regions of the brain that are associated with memory, the buildup of markers of the disease's progression can be prevented. In another note, the US Food and Drug Administration recently approved 23 and Me Inc's first ever home genetic tests for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other health risks, CBS News reported. This new test gives consumers direct access to important genetic risk information related to their conditions.

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