Brain Health Index
Brain Health Nexus will achieve its mission by developing, validating, and driving the adoption of a Brain Health Index, ushering in a new era of Brain Health.
The recently released World Health Organization position paper on optimizing brain health across the life course, sends two important signals: first, beginning to reconcile what have been two WHO silos, mental health and neurological health—to brain health; second, a shift in focus from a health care crisis to promoting brain health across the lifespan. In order to achieve this, we need to be able to measure and monitor brain health.
Brain health can be quantified at an individual level
Our main premise is that brain health can be defined and then quantified, at an individual level, through a combination of measures based on core domains of brain function, and an information technology framework that collects, integrates, and models global data. These measures would be the basis of the BHI, and have benefits similar to the Heart Health Index, which changed the paradigm from disease treatment, to monitoring risk factors and preventing disability and death – ultimately extending lifespan and expanding quality of life.
Using a federated model of clinical research, we will augment digital tech measures with insights derived from genetic, imaging, and other innovative biotechnologies, across healthy and diseased populations. With the advent of powerful artificial intelligence and analytics tools, these data can be combined and used to build models that predict health status.
Why now? Better Data
New technologies (genomic, biosensor, social media) allow unprecedented assessment and quantification of disease on a real-time basis with high fidelity.
Why is an index so important to brain health?
Because that is the pathway to operationalizing brain health.
Having a way to measure and monitor brain health will allow us to do the following:
- Establish a baseline of brain health, using objective and quantifiable measures;
- Measure and monitor fluctuations in brain health across the lifespan;
- Rapidly advance diagnostic and therapeutic solutions targeted to root determinants of brain health;
- Boost wellness, resilience and optimization;
- Recommend lifestyle changes to lower risk of disease and their trajectories;
- Move from treating disease to prevention, by intervening before reaching crisis points, reducing health, social and economic impacts
A new model of collaboration to advance brain health for all citizens globally
Siloed, disease-specific approach addressing patient symptoms at a crisis point
Collaborative approach utilizing advanced data capture and AI to measure and monitor brain health, to optimize brain health and prevent brain disorders and their social and economic impacts
Brain Health Nexus will be organizing two workshops in 2024 to advance the development of a brain health index.
The first workshop will be focused on governance of data needed to drive a collective effort; the second on arriving at a consensus definition of brain health and the composite of measures that can serve as a proxy for brain health.