Research into brain health
Guttmann Barcelona is committed to research into and the promotion of Brain Health.
The repercussions of neurological disorders are a growing problem, and their incidence and prevalence mean they are now one of the main problems in public health. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people develops a neurological or psychiatric disorder throughout their lives.
Given that we are living increasingly longer, new challenges have appeared, such as reducing the impact of age-associated cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases. Maintaining the functional capacity of the nervous system throughout the whole life of a human being is one of the objectives of 21st-century biomedical research that must be prioritised. A healthy, active brain has more resources to face the passing of time and any injuries or diseases that may arise, therefore researching brain health allows us to make progress in this regard.
A HEALTHY BRAIN THROUGHOUT OUR WHOLE LIVES
Brain Health is defined as the development and preservation of neural functions and networks in line with age. It is needed in order to enjoy a full life, as well as make it possible to recover from injuries or illnesses. The nervous system has a built-in capacity to modify its structure and function to develop new capacities and adapt to the challenges posed by the environment and changes to it (neuronal plasticity). This built-in capacity of the brain changes naturally throughout our lives.
Our goal will be to find out what these changes are in order to promote and manage them. Making the most of our neuronal plasticity and promoting cognitive reserve will improve the brain health of each individual.
In addition, as the nervous system has a regulatory function (health-generating or salutogenic) on the other systems in our bodies, optimising brain health also allows us to optimise the capacity for salutogenesis, improve general health and reduce the impact of different chronic medical conditions.
Barcelona Brain Health Initiative (BBHI)
Promoted by the Institut Guttmann and with the invaluable support of “La Caixa”, the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative is a research study that aims to find out how to maintain brain health throughout our lives.
The project has almost 4,000 volunteers and a multidisciplinary team of professionals under the scientific leadership of Álvaro Pascual-Leone, Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research at Harvard Medical School, along with his team of experts and advice from a committee of scientists of renowned international prestige.