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Top Eight BrainHealth Breakthroughs of 2017

Center for BrainHealth

  1. INNOVATIVE ENFORCEMENT: A Center for BrainHealth and Dallas police department collaboration sparked a new cognitive and mindfulness training initiative. The TODAY Show highlighted this innovative tool for law enforcement personnel.
  2. REASONING RIGOR: Academic Press published Center for BrainHealth deputy director Dr. Daniel Krawczyk’s textbook Reasoning: The Neuroscience of How We Think, a comprehensive guide to neural mechanisms behind thinking, reasoning and higher cognition.
  3. WHAT’S WEIGHING YOU DOWN: Findings by Dr. Francesca Filbey, published in the journal Obesity, demonstrate that having an impulsive personality — the tendency to consistently react with little forethought — is the key factor that links brain patterns of impulsivity and a high body mass index (BMI).
  4. BREAKING SOCIAL BARRIERS: Elsevier recognized a Center for BrainHealth virtual reality training research in its 2017 special collection of research articles for Autism Awareness Day. The study findings revealed improved social cognition performance, such as emotion recognition, attention and overall executive function.
  5. DECODING CRAVING: JAMA Psychiatry published Drs. Xiaosi Gu and Francesca Filbey model for a new, systematic and quantitative model for drug addiction research that targets craving: the intense, urgent feeling of needing or wanting drugs that often still persists after addiction recovery.
  6. ENHANCING THE AGING BRAIN: Healthy adults over the age of 55 who participated in a Center for BrainHealth cognitive training program demonstrated enhanced innovative thinking, along with corresponding positive brain changes. Findings from Dr. Sandra Chapman’s randomized clinical trial were published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
  7. RECOVERY CONTINUES YEARS AFTER INJURY: Dr. Kihwan Han recently published traumatic brain injury research that shows a Center for BrainHealth cognitive training protocol can stimulate structural changes and neural connections in the brain -- even years after a traumatic brain injury. The findings have the potential to be used to quantitatively measure treatment efficacy.
  8. WHAT CAUSES MARIJUANA ADDICTION: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded Dr. Filbey, Bert Moore Chair in BrainHealth, a $2.5 million grant to examine cannabis use disorders.
Bonnie PitmanDirector of Art-Brain Innovations Bonnie Pitman develops partnerships between the university and cultural and health-related institutions. The former Director of The Dallas Museum of Art, she is a national leader in the public engagement of art. Bonnie will offer several lectures and workshops focused on art and the brain in terms of innovation and observation. Jane Wigginton, MDChief Medical Advisor As Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Jane Wigginton will serve as the “go to” medical expert at the Center for BrainHealth and the Brain Performance Institute. Dr. Wigginton will assist with clinical trials, research protocols, client evaluations and recommendations for care. Jimin Ren, PhDDirector of Neuroenergetics Dr. Ren will conduct research focused on exploring brain energy metabolism in those with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and healthy adults. Pictured above from left to right. CONTACT Stephanie Hoefken 972.883.3221 stephanie.hoefken@utdallas.eduABOUT CENTER FOR BRAINHEALTH Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, is a translational research institute committed to enhancing, preserving, and restoring brain health across the lifespan. 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. This leading-edge scientific exploration is translated quickly into practical innovations to improve how people think, work and live, empowering people of all ages to unlock their brain potential. Translational innovations build on Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Tactics (SMART™), a proprietary methodology developed and tested by BrainHealth researchers and other teams over three decades.

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Bonnie Pitman

Director Art-Brain Innovations Distinguished Scholar in Residence for The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH)

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