Washington: For patients of diseases such as Alzheimer, autism and mental health disorders scientists claim to have created the world’s first digital brain map that will help doctors better understand their conditions.

A team at the Allen Institute for Brain Science has created the computerised map after spending four years piercing together minute details from brain tissue including millions of genes.

"Until now, a definitive map of the human brain at this level of detail simply hasn't existed. For the first time, we have generated a comprehensive map of the brain that includes the underlying biochemistry," Allan Jones from the
Institute said.

To extract the RNA and find the 25,000 genes present in the human genome, the brains were chopped up into sections.

Each detail from the brain was loaded into a computer to provide the exact directions from one point of the brain to another.

The institute is making the atlas freely available at www.brain-map.org as a resource for scientists studying brain diseases, along with a set of computational tools to help them analyse the relevant data.

In the latest research, the scientists listed 1,000 landmarks in each of two brains then linked those tissues to thousands of genes they work in conjunction with to neural development and function.

By using the map it is possible to see how strongly or weakly different genes act on different parts of the brain.

Neurologist Jeffrey L Noebels said, “The Allen atlas tells you where a gene is turned on in the brain and that's why it is important. We feel confident that we are giving a good average picture of the human brain to the people who are mining this data.”

(Agencies)