Can We Predict Mental Illness?


We’re just beginning to understand how complex our brains really are, and now technology may help medicine predict mental illnesses based on how the brain is organized.

I recently read a Huffington Post article about how scientists are finding that each of us has a distinct pattern in how our neurons are organized. It seems to be as individual as a fingerprint.

What is even more interesting is that scientists also found the organization of these neurological connections in our brains changes over time, suggesting that our life experiences as well as physiological factors influence how our brains work.

“In a way, we are showing what neuroscience has always assumed to be true but not yet shown: We are our own unique neural snowflake,” Dr. Timothy Verstynen, an assistant professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and one of the study’s authors, told The Huffington Post. “The wiring diagram of our brain is specific to each of us.”

Studying the brain’s wiring may allow neuroscientists to one day predict (and possibly prevent) the development of certain psychiatric and neurological illnesses.