WEDNESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- The world's first
anatomically and genetically detailed map of the human brain has
been completed by U.S. scientists, who said their achievement might
lead to new treatments for a number of brain diseases.
The team at the Allen Institute for Brain Science used
leading-edge technology and took more than four years to complete
The mappings of the biochemistry of two normal adult human
brains revealed a 94 percent similarity between human brains, and
also showed that at least 82 percent of all human genes are
expressed in the brain.
The findings provide the foundation for the Allen Human Brain
Atlas, an online public resource available to researchers. The
atlas identifies 1,000 anatomical sites in the human brain, along
with more than 100 million data points that indicate the particular
gene expression and underlying biochemistry of each site.
Researchers will be able to use the atlas in a number of ways,
including examining how disease and injury affect specific areas of
the brain. They'll also be able to pinpoint where a drug acts in
the brain, which could help improve outcomes for a number of
"Until now, a definitive map of the human brain, at this level of detail, simply hasn't existed," Allan Jones, chief executive officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, said in an institute news release.
The atlas "provides never-before-seen views into our most
complex and most important organ. Understanding how our genes are
used in our brains will help scientists and the medical community
better understand and discover new treatments for the full spectrum
of brain diseases and disorders, from mental illness and drug
addiction, to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple
sclerosis, autism and more," Jones said.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about the