Watch the MRI and the Developing Brain video
One in five children will suffer from a mental health disorder.
Will you help improve quality of life for children with mental health problems?
Developmental brain disorders are extremely common in children and adolescents.
In addition to mental illness, other forms of neurological, psychiatric, or neurodevelopmental disorders include Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, stroke and tumour.
Such disorders can have a devastating outcome on a child’s cognitive, emotional, social and educational development and long-term life chances. Early diagnosis and intervention with the right treatment or therapy can lead to early control of symptoms, increased life chances and well-being for the child and their family.
Early intervention also saves the economy £18 for every pound spent. To investigate potential links between changes in the developing brain and neurological disorders, researchers need accurate knowledge of brain development in children without disorders.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was invented at The University of Nottingham for which Sir Peter Mansfield was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003. The Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre (SPMMRC) is a world-leading centre for the continuing development of MRI, and is the UK centre for ultrahigh field MRI.
The University also has an international reputation for basic and clinical studies of neurodevelopmental disorders in children and adolescents and is one of the few centres in the UK to host specialist clinics for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Tourette Syndrome.
MRI has revolutionised diagnostic medicine, with more than 26,000,000 investigative procedures carried out each year.
It promises a second revolution by providing a non-invasive tool with which to explore the human mind. We are using radical innovations in brain-imaging techniques and image analysis to establish the first brain-image database of the typically developing brain in childhood. Such a database is crucial to understanding how atypical patterns of brain development lead to psychiatric and neurodegenerative illnesses.
Our work understanding how children’s brains develop will lead to earlier diagnosis, reliable prediction of clinical outcomes and more successful treatment for those with developmental brain disorders; this will have a significant impact on their quality of life and well-being.
What will your Impact be?
Our work will directly benefit the growing number of children who experience mental health disorders. Your support for Using MRI to Understand the Developing Brain will make a genuine difference to the lives of such children and young people.
For over 150 years the diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome (TS) has left families feeling isolated and fearful for the future of their child. Parents, carers and people living daily with the reality of TS want to understand more about this complex condition which rules their lives.
The University of Nottingham’s brain imaging project is a vital component to providing the answers. To be able to follow the progression of the condition and, in perhaps as few as five years, to be able to offer a likely prognosis is beyond measure. Imaging may also point towards new treatments or medications to make the management of TS a real likelihood.
Families all over the UK and indeed the world are waiting for the answers; surely we should do everything in our power to provide them.
Suzanne Dobson, Chief Executive of Tourette’s Action
MRI has come a long way in the last 35 years but there is still a lot to do to improve the sensitivity, particularly when studying the function of the brain. Further innovations will help achieve this.
Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, Nobel Laureate 2003