Facebook pixelWhat Is Brain Health?
Go to home page

What Is Brain Health?

A group of related backpackers smile at a mobile phone while taking a selfie near a lake in a wilderness park. The group is a real multi-ethnic and multi-generation extended family of mature adults and teenage children. Wide angle view of the forest and pond in the background.

A New Era of Understanding

The concept is so new that as recently as 1999, the Center for BrainHealth® was able to trademark the term. Since that time, we have continued pioneering research to gain a fuller understanding – and its application for real-world benefit.

The Deficit Model Does Not Tell The Whole Story

Traditional thinking about brain health is rooted in the medical model, focusing on disease, disorder and deficits.

BrainHealth researchers have determined that interventions shown to help populations with specific deficits also helped people with different deficits.

Eventually, research led to the discovery that these interventions can even help healthy people strengthen their brain health. Our research shows that better brain health helps people thrive within the context of their personal life.

We are reframing how to define brain health: it’s about making the most of your capacity to thrive in life.

Decline Is Not Inevitable

Graphic illustrating how the SMART protocol works to improve brain health and performance

Common thinking once held that after our mid-20s, the only brain change possible was decline. In the late 1990s science began to reveal the power of neuroplasticity, and researchers started exploring the extent to which the brain can grow stronger, adapt and work better throughout our lifespan.

At Center for BrainHealth, cognitive neuroscientists have teamed up with clinicians to translate exciting scientific findings into real-world applications for people of all ages and circumstances.

Science showed that brain fitness is just as achievable as physical fitness, and thus the SMART™ protocol was born.

Brain Health Builds on Multiple Domains

The components of brain health: cognition, daily life, well-being and interaction.

It is still common to envision a healthy brain as a set of pillars – all equally important and seeming to function independently.

However, research demonstrates that the multiple components of the brain’s health are tightly integrated, and that cognitive fitness creates change across all the components.

Because cognition is the way we perceive and engage with the world, this component undergirds the others.