Doctors could soon determine if you are at risk of dying young using an MRI scan. The scans could also be used to spot those who are at risk of poor health, new research has found. A team of neuroscientists in London have trained computers to test the ‘brain age’ of patients based on the volume of their brain tissue. The new test measures the overall loss of grey and white matter – a hallmark of the brain’s ageing process.

Grey matter is a major part of the body’s central nervous system, which helps send messages along the nerves from the brain to the rest of the body. Meanwhile white matter is the tissue that connects the grey matter to different areas of the brain. The new scans are not yet ready for clinical trials, the researchers stressed. But they hope they could one day be used as a tool to identify those at risk of cognitive decline and dying before the age of 80. FULL REPORT