Brain age prediction across the human lifespan using multimodal MRI data

Sihai Guan, Runzhou Jiang, Chun Meng, Bharat Biswal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Measuring differences between an individual’s age and biological age with biological information from the brain have the potential to provide biomarkers of clinically relevant neurological syndromes that arise later in human life. To explore the effect of multimodal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features on the prediction of brain age, we investigated how multimodal brain imaging data improved age prediction from more imaging features of structural or functional MRI data by using partial least squares regression (PLSR) and longevity data sets (age 6–85 years). First, we found that the age-predicted values for each of these ten features ranged from high to low: cortical thickness (R = 0.866, MAE = 7.904), all seven MRI features (R = 0.8594, MAE = 8.24), four features in structural MRI (R = 0.8591, MAE = 8.24), fALFF (R = 0.853, MAE = 8.1918), gray matter volume (R = 0.8324, MAE = 8.931), three rs-fMRI feature (R = 0.7959, MAE = 9.744), mean curvature (R = 0.7784, MAE = 10.232), ReHo (R = 0.7833, MAE = 10.122), ALFF (R = 0.7517, MAE = 10.844), and surface area (R = 0.719, MAE = 11.33). In addition, the significance of the volume and size of brain MRI data in predicting age was also studied. Second, our results suggest that all multimodal imaging features, except cortical thickness, improve brain-based age prediction. Third, we found that the left hemisphere contributed more to the age prediction, that is, the left hemisphere showed a greater weight in the age prediction than the right hemisphere. Finally, we found a nonlinear relationship between the predicted age and the amount of MRI data. Combined with multimodal and lifespan brain data, our approach provides a new perspective for chronological age prediction and contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between brain disorders and aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • Age prediction in lifespan
  • Multimodal MRI
  • PLSR
  • The data size


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