A healthy brain is critical to our health and wellbeing, both personal and communal. Just think of all that a healthy brain can do. Healthy bodies allow us to live. Healthy brains allow individuals and communities to thrive.
Yet, compared to other organs in the body, relatively little is known about the factors that shape brain health. To promote brain health and prevent brain-related diseases, which affect one out of every three people worldwide, breakthrough scientific discoveries are urgently needed. In fact, discovering the basis of brain health may be the most important medical challenge of our time.
The Brain Health Study is a pioneering, multi-generational, community-based research project based in the Lakewood Ranch community of southwest Florida. The study is being conducted through a unique collaboration between the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard Medical School Hospital, and the Academy for Brain Health and Performance (ABHP) in partnership with the community of Lakewood Ranch and Greater Gulf Coast region.
Together, we will study a representative sample of residents to uncover the factors, both positive and negative, that affect brain health throughout the lifespan. Once these factors have been identified, we will then develop and evaluate the impact of evidence-based interventions, designed to improve brain health, on individuals, the Lakewood Ranch community, the greater Gulf Coast Community, and beyond.
This study will have a transformative impact on the Greater Gulf Coast residents, on the field of brain health, and on people across the globe. Results from this study will help guide the development of new initiatives to promote brain health for people of all ages, and will establish the Greater Gulf Coast as a leader in the future of brain health and performance.
The Brain Health Study is part of the larger Building a Brain Healthy Community Initiative.
Brain Health 101
The Brain Health Study at Lakewood Ranch aspires to uncover the basis of brain health across the lifespan, so people can maximize cognitive performance and live, learn, work, and play as desired throughout their lifetimes. But, what exactly is “brain health”?
The Brain Health Study at Lakewood Ranch is an ambitious project that will study members of the Lakewood Ranch community over a period of decades. Our study will feature a series of research studies to determine if certain interventions — whether lifestyle changes or modifications to the environment – promote brain health. Think of it as a kind of Framingham Heart Study of brain health— large-scale epidemiological research meets evidence-based interventions.
This study is overseen by an interdisciplinary team of medical researchers and clinicians committed to advancing the science of brain health. The direction of the project is being guided by a world-renowned scientific advisory board, community coalition members, and local, state, national, and global research and innovation partners.
The benefits of this study will extend not only to Lakewood Ranch residents, but to individuals and communities around the globe. In addition to the obvious healthcare cost savings that will accrue to investing in brain health and performance, there are also many other equally, if not more important, values on investment that will result from it.
Lakewood Ranch is a unique setting to undertake a study of this magnitude, as it was designed with the health of a multigenerational community in mind and provides a platform where many people work, live, and play in the same community. This project will establish Lakewood Ranch as a leader in the future of brain health and performance and will set a new standard for healthy communities across the country.
There are many ways to get involved in The Brain Health Study at Lakewood Ranch: as a research participant, investor, researcher, or brain health innovator.