Brain Health Initiative

Building a Brain Healthy Community!

Brain health is essential for a long, happy, and productive life. Its impact is far-ranging, extending beyond our individual selves to our local, national, and global communities. A healthy brain seeks solutions and solves problems. It enables us to think, act, and make the world a better place.

The Brain Health Study is a pioneering, multi-generational, community-based research project based in the Lakewood Ranch community of central Florida, but soon to expand to the Greater Gulf Coast.  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.

Research Objective:

Imagine the benefits for Greater Gulf Coast of Florida residents and our society at large, if…

·      There was a way to assess and promote optimal brain health, development and performance across the lifespan, and also to monitor brain health and risk factors for disease at annual wellness checks, and a community that promoted this process.

·      People were taught to engage in and sustain brain-healthy lifestyle behaviors, and a community championed these efforts.

·      Homes, neighborhoods, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, workplace settings, parks, and hospitals could be designed and operated with brain health and performance in mind, with a community committed to this infrastructure.

·      The Brain Health Initiative results in measurable and replicable protective factors and decreased risk factors for brain health for people in Lakewood Ranch and the Greater Gulf Coast of Florida, as well as around the world, and a community that made this happen.

Our study aims to accomplish just that! Although it is important to identify the dollars that could be saved by investing in brain health, it is equally, if not more, important to consider the value on investment of such a project.

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, Gulf Coast region 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.

We are…

  • Identifying the factors that help and harm brain health, including genes, lifestyle, and the environment.

  • Understanding certain interventions that promote brain health and reduce the risk of brain-related diseases.

  • Targeting these interventions in key stages of life; when they will have significant and long-lasting impacts on brain health.

Visit the Brain Health Initiative website:

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What Our Coalition Members are Saying

Leslie Williamson