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A study published this week in Nature Neuroscience demonstrates how studying the magnetic properties of tissue may provide a unique window into brain health and disease.

Magnetic susceptibility atlas generated by averaging the magnetic susceptibility maps (non-linearly registered to MNI space) from 35,273 subjects.

Dr Chaoyue Wang and colleagues used the UK Biobank neuroimaging resource to estimate maps of 'magnetic susceptibility' in 30,000 individuals. These maps relate to the levels of iron, myelin and calcium in the brain.

The researchers were able to identify associations between tissue magnetism and an individual's genetics, lifestyle, and health. 'For example, we uncovered a previously undescribed relationship between tea consumption and magnetic susceptibility, which may relate to iron accumulation in the brain', said Dr Wang.

The data are made to researchers worldwide via the UK Biobank.

Read the full paper in Nature Neuroscience

Read a summary of the paper

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