What can be more important in taking care of one's body than taking care of one's brain?
While there is much we still do not know about our brains, we do know that the status quo is not an option. It is leaving us woefully unprepared to meet current and future demands.
True brain health requires preserving and enhancing a variety of cognitive, emotional and executive functionality, going far beyond the absence of disease. A holistic brain health approach, additionally, would serve as the best way to delay, if not prevent, the neurological and psychological conditions mentioned above.
This opportunity is becoming true thanks to a nascent cultural shift. Previously a passive party in the health care process, consumers are assuming a more active role.
Over the past two decades, our understanding of the human brain has grown exponentially. Fueled by this new information, the number and variety of brain applications available commercially is exploding, potentially transforming the way we care for our brains across our entire lifespan.
Since we don't see this crucial organ in the mirror, it's all too easy to forget those billions of neurons and connections. But the research picture is increasingly clear... what we do, every single day, has an impact on our brain health. For better or worse, our choices and behaviors impact our life-long brain development, and the way we treat our brain today will affect our overall health and quality of life years from now.
Empowering everyone with a brain to optimize that brain will require widespread access to validated assessments and interventions as well as a well-informed understanding of how to navigate and use them.
We are still early in this process, but we should be aware that accelerating innovation is poised to enable systematic brain health self-monitoring and self-care, in turn transforming what it means to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
The proliferation of inexpensive, data-rich technologies means more individuals will start to measure and track mental functions over time,