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Detailed atlas of the brain could move disease treatment forward

October 27, 2023

IN THE NEWS: Hundreds of neuroscientists from all over the globe recently described the characteristics of more than 3,000 human brain cell types for the first time and published their work in four Science journals. Their efforts are part of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network by the National Institutes of Health.

Popular Science white letters on blue backgroundUCI Health clinical neuropsychologist Mark Mapstone, PhD, spoke to Popular Science about what the discovery means for the future of brain health and the treatment of brain disease. Mapstone was not involved with the research.

“A detailed brain atlas can help us understand what successful brain function looks like so we can maximize brain cells and circuits that promote brain heath. Addressing brain disease and promoting brain health can be more easily accomplished if we know how these cells are organized.”

Mapstone is a clinical neuropsychologist with UCI Health Memory Disorder Services who specializes in cognitive assessments of older adults. He is a professor and vice chair of research neuropsychology in the Department of Neurology at the UCI School of Medicine.

Mapstone has long led research into the early detection of neurological disease using cognitive tests and biomarkers from blood and has authored more than 100 research articles and book chapters. With a $109 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Mapstone and his fellow researchers are spearheading an international effort to identify biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease.

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