Timeline of Visionary Milestones
Center for BrainHealth Is EstablishedJanuary, 1999
Under the leadership of distinguished professor and chief director Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, the Center for BrainHealth® is established as a cognitive neuroscience research and translation center at The University of Texas at Dallas. The term "BrainHealth" is trademarked, underscoring the critical distinction of the concept from mental health, brain disease and disorder.
The center plays a key role in developing practice guidelines for research and interventions for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Our team serves as a core member of the committee to publish best practices for speech-language pathology (SLP) in dementia, paving the way for BrainHealth to develop unique treatment approaches for individuals with a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
The center develops and tests the first prototype and precursor of the BrainHealth® Index, a measure of complex reasoning, synthesized thinking, and memory for details. Researchers find this metric shows 92% sensitivity and 96% specificity to changes in early Alzheimer's and distinguishes those with mild cognitive impairment from healthy controls.
First Annual Neuroplasticity SymposiumMarch, 2003
Reprogramming the Human Brain to Health makes its debut with Nobel Prize winners David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel as keynote speakers. The symposium, hosted in partnership with UC Berkeley, brings together the most pioneering minds in neuroscience from multiple fields, who present and discuss new discoveries and approaches to enhancing brain repair in humans, bridging the gap between basic brain research and human clinical treatments for the brain.
The Center develops a unique treatment approach for individuals with a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Those who participate in the strengths-based intervention demonstrate a slower rate of cognitive decline, preserved language abilities, less irritability and apathy, and report a better quality of life. Researchers conclude that cognitive training in combination with medication does more in Alzheimer’s than medication alone.
Construction Begins on BrainHealth’s State-of-the-art Research FacilityJanuary, 2005
A lifelong vision becomes a reality, establishing the first-ever research facility fully dedicated to the brain and building its health and capacity. The Center for BrainHealth® becomes a world leader in the groundbreaking new field of brain health.
Visionary Support Drives ProgressJanuary, 2006
The late T. Boone Pickens makes his first donation to center and remains the organization's top benefactor to date. The following year, the T. Boone Pickens Distinguished University Chair in Clinical Brain Science is established, and the T. Boone Pickens Virtual Learning Center opens in the Center's new building.
A collaboration between the center, Baylor College of Medicine and other researchers (through an NIH-funded longitudinal project), this study documents findings of later-emerging deficits following brain injury in children, distinguishing the youth trajectory of recovery from that of adults. This evidence motivates the case for long-term monitoring, proactive interventions and dynamic forms of support to promote recovery at each new stage in youth.
In a collaborative effort with UT Southwestern and the Shelton School, the center tests alternative and complementary treatments for children with ADHD using Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Tactics (SMART™). Results from randomized clinical trials and these first SMART Edge camps evidence significant gains in frontal lobe reasoning and executive functioning.
The center leverages technology and clinical expertise to launch Charisma™, a first-of-its-kind virtual social cognition training platform that features live, interactive coaching. Thousands of youths and adults around the world are utilizing this advanced social coaching program, breaking down barriers for those with social cognition impairments and demonstrating significant gains in social brain networks, real-life social abilities and social confidence.
New Goad Building OpensOctober, 2007
The center finds a permanent home, thanks to a $5 million gift from Dianne Cash. The 63,000-square-foot research facility is named the Frances and Mildred Goad Building in honor of Dianne's mother, who benefited from the center's programs, and her grandmother.
The Friends of BrainHealth® annual donor circle is established. These forward-thinking ambassadors have since raised more than $3.5 million for BrainHealth and funded more than 40 independent studies led by emerging scientists early in their careers.
A committed group of young professionals launches the Think Ahead Group (TAG), a donor circle for brain health enthusiasts under age 40, inspiring a new generation of brain health leaders. Their ingenious naming reflects awareness of the importance of attending to brain-healthy practices before problems arise.
BrainHealth® researchers launch the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative™, igniting improvements in middle and high school students' higher-order reasoning skills as well as their state-mandated standardized test performance. The high-impact randomized clinical trial is translated into a "train-the-teacher" model to improve how teachers inspire students to create new ideas.
The Center for BrainHealth develops and tests Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Tactics (SMART™) as a training tool for healthy adults. A randomized control trial shows healthy adults can strengthen both brain structure and function, regaining years of losses in neural health. The study results suggest adults could double the longevity of their peak brain years.
BrainHealth® propels its training initiatives to Active-Duty Special Operations teams, building resilience, emotional stability and response agility. The expansion of SMART™ to accelerate mental decisions of elite performers paves the way for ongoing engagement with active-duty military, organizational leaders, National Guard, veterans and first responders. The real-world application of SMART delivered in workshop format shows improvement in cognitive performance and psychological well-being.
Gifts to BrainHealth® since its 1999 inception cross the $50 million mark, thanks to the generosity of private philanthropists passionate about the future of brain health.
The center begins a $33 million capital campaign to build and furnish the Brain Performance Institute™. This campus expansion allows BrainHealth to meet a growing demand for its translational programming.
With Department of Defense (DOD) funding, the center conducts a randomized clinical trial with adults years after they experienced brain injury. Findings demonstrate that SMART™ promotes improvement in cognitive function, mood (reduction in stress and depressive symptoms) and daily function.
Empowering Texas Veterans and Their FamiliesNovember, 2016
The center receives a Texas Veterans + Family Alliance grant through the Health and Human Services Commission, which helps build brain-healthier family units among veterans, their spouses and children in North Texas. Trainers reach hundreds with SMART™ training, shown to accelerate recovery from brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with higher levels of reasoning, improved neural health, gains in real-life responsibilities and significant gains in mental health.
Brain Performance Institute OpensOctober, 2017
Following a successful $33 million capital campaign launched in 2014, the center opens the Brain Performance Institute™, a 62,000-square-foot facility dedicated to translating the latest brain-healthy breakthroughs into actionable strategies and tactics, and training people of all ages and backgrounds to take charge of their brain performance.
The center attracts 30+ of the world’s leading experts – scientists, health care providers, data analysts, technology gurus, public health authorities and more – to embark on an ambitious undertaking: launching a global movement to achieve progress in brain health similar to the progress in heart health over the past generation. These collaborators lend their expertise to developing The BrainHealth Project, which will promote awareness and enable individualized, proactive brain health journeys at an unprecedented scale.
The center opens one-of-a-kind facility featuring two top-tier, research-grade magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used exclusively for human brain research, identifying validated analytics that measure improved brain health and function.
The BrainHealth® Project launches as the largest and most ambitious initiative to advance brain health, led by the center in collaboration with more than 30 of the world's leading experts. This online program empowers people ages 8-100 to take charge of their brain’s fitness with science-backed training, live coaching and ongoing measurement. This marks a scalable solution through telehealth delivery of a holistic BrainHealth Index and SMART™ training, with direct personal application to participants’ daily lives.
The BrainHealth® Project shows that a virtual brain health program can measure, train and coach healthy adults and develop a data-driven index of brain health. An initial trial confirms results comparable to in-person delivery. Researchers identify cross-domain factors (clarity, fortitude and resilience) contributing to overall brain performance, indicative of the brain’s deeply integrated function. The very definition of brain health becomes completely individualized.
The center launches the BrainHealthy Workplace™, an organizational-level program that trains and empowers leaders and teams to adopt healthy brain practices for improved innovation, well-being and connection, while reducing burnout and turnover.
Corporate leaders are beginning to recognize that brain health is a higher category of health, with benefits to improve employee engagement. This, in turn, strengthens the bottom line.
The BrainHealth® Project is named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards (Wellness category). The online platform opens the door to a lifetime journey of brain fitness. Participants set personal goals, learn healthy brain practices, engage in exercises to reinforce new habits, get guidance from a trained BrainHealth coach, and check progress periodically with the BrainHealth Index.
Sammons Enterprises Elevates Imaging ResearchApril, 2022
The Sammons BrainHealth Imaging Center at UT Dallas is named in gratitude for the generosity and vision of Sammons Enterprises, which has made the largest single corporate gift in the history of BrainHealth. It, plus other lead gifts received over the past few years, marks the beginning of the public phase of the $50 million Limitless BrainHealth campaign.