DALLAS (October 26, 2020) - After the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the global economy, scientists at the Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, worked with researchers across the world to develop a science-based plan that could help the economy recover and prevent similar collapses in the future. The Brain Capital Grand Strategy is an economic reimagination wherein organizations invest in employees' brain health as a critical, measurable asset. Improving brain health - emotional, behavioral and cognitive functioning - helps people tap into their brain's limitless potential, catalyze innovative thinking and improve their productivity, in turn strengthening the transforming economy.
The paper was recently published in Molecular Psychiatry. The Brain Capital Grand Strategy was a massive collaborative effort by numerous researchers, including Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth, and Ian Robertson, PhD, both co-directors of The BrainHealth Project. The author group also included experts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Science has shown that many people think about intellect as fixed. This is inaccurate and limits the potential of the human mind. The BrainHealth Project - the largest scientific study to redefine brain health and provide strategies for improving and maintaining the brain's performance - is central to the Brain Capital Grand Strategy. The BrainHealth Project defines brain health as a holistic health measure that includes components like a person's psychological well-being, social adeptness, and capacity for innovation.
This measure, known as the BrainHealth Index™, could serve as a predictor of when a community, corporation or country have the wherewithal to be resilient.
"The BrainHealth Index will be a central component of the Brain Capital strategy," said Harris Eyre, MD PhD, the senior author on the paper. "This measurement of brain health will allow for us to track, benchmark and implement the Brain Capital Grand Strategy in policy. This Index can also be used by executives, human resource managers and board members," he said.
In today's economy, many jobs require strong cognitive, emotional and social skills. Holistic education and policies promoting brain health through investment in brain capital could help people build cognitive resilience. Cognitive resilience is crucial in an economy where brain skills are central to productivity, especially in the midst of massive change. By redefining brain health and improving employees' resilience, The BrainHealth Project provides an avenue for lasting economic reform.
"Brain Capital is the economic benefit that accrues from keeping our brains powered at the highest level," said Dr. Chapman. "This is exactly what The BrainHealth Project is all about: helping people everywhere realize that they have this limitless power to become a more resilient version of themselves at all ages."
About Center for BrainHealth
The Center for BrainHealth, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, is a research institute committed to enhancing, preserving and restoring brain health across the lifespan. Scientific exploration at the Center for BrainHealth is leading edge, improving lives today and translating groundbreaking discoveries into practical clinical application. By delivering science-based innovations that enhance how people think, work and live, the Center and its Brain Performance Institute™ are empowering people of all ages to unlock their brain potential. Major research areas include the use of functional and structural neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neurobiology supporting cognition and emotion in health and disease.
Further funding: Jean-Jacques DeGroof and other sponsors of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering National Institute of Mental Health R01 grant (R01MH094151-01 to DJ [PI]), and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California San Diego. GBHI ALZ UK-20-640170 and from Oregon Health Authority. NIMH, NIA, NCCIH, NIAMS, PCORI, Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation. E. NIH, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Red Cross, Greater Houston Community Foundation, ReBuild Texas. CONICET, ANID/FONDAP/15150012, the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), GBHI ALZ UK-20-639295, and the Multi-partner Consortium to Expand Dementia Research in Latin America (ReDLat; NIH NIA R01 AG057234, Alzheimer's Association SG-20-725707, Tau Consortium, and Global Brain Health Institute).