About us

At Brain Health Network, we help people keep their brain healthy as they age – staying sharp, feeling good, and lowering risk

When was the last time you thought about the health of your brain?

Well, that’s what we’re all about - brain health.

There is a lot we can do to look after our brain through simple lifestyle factors. You can find out more about each pillar by clicking below:

Why is this important

Maintaining a healthy brain day to day is important to stay sharp and feel good - but keeping a focus on this in the longer term has wider significance.

This is because leading research indicates that it is possible to lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s – in part by maintaining a healthy brain.

This means that it may be possible to prevent or delay the onset of such diseases.

With dementia (which includes Alzheimer’s disease) recognised as one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century, the concept of prevention has never been more important.

Brain Health Network is here to help raise awareness of this, and to spread the message that neurodegenerative diseases are not an inevitable part of ageing.

How can we help?

We’re working with researchers and academics at leading institutions around the world to learn more about the latest work they’re doing related to brain health.

We help explain their findings and recommendations in a clear and understandable way, so you don’t have to read through any academic journals (but you’ll still be able to find the source material, if you’re interested).

There is a lot we can all do to help look after our brain as the years go by, through simple lifestyle factors – exercise; nutrition (including gut health); sleep; keeping an active mind; and overall healthy living.

Helping people understand this, and to then put recommendations into practice in the most sustainable way possible, is at the core of our mission.

Our Director of Science and Research Impact

Professor James Goodwin
Professor James Goodwin is Director of Science and Research Impact at Brain Health Network and is the former Chief Scientific Officer of Age UK.
Read More

Our network

Two key areas that are important to us are being evidence-based and transparent.

As part of this, we’re connected with a global network of academics and researchers who are working to find out more about brain health.

Through this network, we’ve worked closely with an advisory group to ensure our content accurately reflects the scientific evidence, and to stay updated on emerging research.

If you’d be interested in contributing to www.brain.health, or know anyone that would be, we’re always interested in hearing more about research that is being undertaken.

You can contact us here.

Understanding prevention research

Below is a summary from a section on the Alzheimer’s Association website, which is useful in explaining how to interpret prevention research.

  • Insights about potentially modifiable risk factors apply to large population groups, not to individuals. Studies can show that factor X is associated with outcome Y, but cannot guarantee that any specific person will have that outcome. As a result, you can “do everything right” and still have a serious health problem or “do everything wrong” and live to be 100
  • Much of our current evidence comes from large epidemiological studies… These studies explore pre-existing behaviours and use statistical methods to relate those behaviours to health outcomes. This type of study can show an “association” between a factor and an outcome but cannot “prove” cause and effect. This is why we describe evidence based on these studies with such language as “suggests,” “may show,” “might protect,” and “is associated with.”
  • The gold standard for showing cause and effect is a clinical trial in which participants are randomly assigned to a prevention or risk management strategy or a control group. Researchers follow the two groups over time to see if their outcomes differ significantly.
  • It is unlikely that some prevention or risk management strategies will ever be tested in randomised trials for ethical or practical reasons. One example is exercise. Definitively testing the impact of exercise on Alzheimer’s risk would require a huge trial enrolling thousands of people and following them for many years. The expense and logistics of such a trial would be prohibitive, and it would require some people to go without exercise, a known health benefit.

Alzheimer’s Association (2022) Understanding prevention research

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