What if you and your neighbors decided to do something big?
Your next community project is a generations-long research project to better understand how your diet, sleep, and daily exercise affect your brain. Sound ridiculous? Well, that’s exactly what some 700 volunteers are beginning to address right now in Georgetown, Texas.
Why? Because we believe everyone should have the tools they need for a healthy brain, regardless of their age, beliefs, bank account, gender, or the color of their skin. Why not age well and be super-agers like many in our study. What does this require? We believe that by being a “community laboratory” for studies in support of clinical scientists we can help shed light on this for those to follow.
A grassroots initiative to empower brain health
We chose the brain because we know if we’re lucky enough to reach the age of 75, almost half of us will have a neurodegenerative disease: Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The most active among us — our kids, soldiers and athletes — can suffer traumatic brain injury on the playground, the playing field or battleground. TBI, is common and uncounted except in the emergency room and military hospital, can have the devastating effect of mimicking the dementia of an old brain, even in a child.
A long, methodical road to revolution
We’ve modeled our Brain Study after the Framingham Heart Study. At a time when heart disease was accepted as a natural part of aging, the community of Framingham, Mass., mobilized. They partnered with Boston University, recorded their diets, how much they exercised and connected those metrics with the health of their hearts.
That was the 1940’s. The study has been so successful it continues to this day with the families of the original volunteers. Framingham inspired the Mediterranean diet, radically new approaches to medication and treatment, anti-smoking policies and entire industries devoted to wellness.
The Georgetown Brain Study will do the same with neurodegenerative disease.
Partnering with world-class medical institutions
In a revolution, no one can go it alone. Our medical partners include the research arms of the University of Texas System: The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, the Southwestern Medical Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical Center and the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences. We are grateful to each of them for their support and expertise.
The Georgetown Neuroscience Foundation
The Brain Study is a program of the Georgetown Neuroscience Foundation, whose mission it is to create a diverse, multi-generational community committed to lead global medical research in the prevention, cures and care of neurodegenerative disease. Join us.