John Csernansky wants to take your measurements. Not the circumference of your chest, waist and hips. No, this doctor wants to stretch a tape measure around your hippocampus, thalamus and prefrontal cortex.
OK, maybe not literally a tape measure, but he does want to chart the dimensions of the many structures in the human brain. From those measurements -- obtained from an MRI scan -- Csernansky will produce a map of the unique dips, swells and crevasses of the brains of individuals that he hopes will provide the first scientific tool for early and more definite diagnosis of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Diagnosing the beginning stage of mental disorders remains elusive, although this when they are most treatable.
The shapes and measurements of brain structures can reveal how they function. Thus, Csernansky hopes his brain maps will reveal how the brains of humans with and without major mental disorders differ from each other and the time frame over which those differences develop.
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