Increase Your Brain Health Span:
helping you, your workplace, and your nation
In today's fast-paced world, we must take proactive steps for our brain health.
We applaud various organizations that have proposed country-wide brain health strategies for all citizens. Such strategies are critical, given the economic challenges of aging populations in many countries. Of course, individual motivation is key to achieving large-scale change.
Our new construct of the "brain health span" could help motivate people to optimize their brain health. Unlike lifespan, which refers to the number of years a person lives (where recently researchers noted the ultimate lifespan is 120 to 150 years), the brain health span focuses on the quality of brain function throughout one's life. In this piece, we will outline some key ways individuals can boost their own brain health span.
Brain health span encompasses a range of factors that contribute to the overall well-being and functionality of the brain. It goes beyond merely avoiding neurological diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease) and focuses on optimizing cognitive performance, resilience, and overall mental health. In essence, it involves maintaining a healthy brain throughout the different stages of life, allowing individuals to enjoy vibrant mental capacities and cognitive abilities as they age.
In this webinar, diverse experts will outline ways of boosting your brain health span at individual, community, national and global levels.
Increase Your Brain Health Span:
helping you, your workplace, and your nation
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2023
Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 6 pm Europe
Lead organizer: ARPF
Co-organizer: Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Brain Capital Alliance
MC: Chris Walling PsyD, MBA
Opening remarks: Harris Eyre, MD, PhD from the Brain Capital Alliance and The Baker Institute
Introducing the brain health span
Keynote 1: Julie Fratantoni, PhD, CCC-SLP from Center for BrainHealth UT Dallas
Tips and tricks for your own brain health
Keynote 2: Dilip Jeste, MD of UCSD
Eudaimonic wellbeing and the brain health span
Keynote 3: Andrew Newberg, MD of Marcus Institute of Integrative Health
Spiritual fitness to prevent dementia
Keynote 4: Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS of UCLA
How mind body therapies are good for your brain
Keynote 5: Rajiv Ahuja, JD Associate Director at Milken Institute
National and international public health initiatives and brain health
Q&A from the audience:
About the Speakers:
Rajiv Ahuja, JD
Rajiv Ahuja is an associate director for Milken Institute, Health, where he advances aging policies and programs that support healthy longevity. Ahuja’s mission is to create lasting change through research, advocacy, and the formation of impact coalitions. His leadership on the Institute’s Alliance to Improve Dementia Care focuses on cultivating interdisciplinary partnerships to improve the lives of older adults affected by dementia and their families. He spearheads efforts to better incentivize policy, business, and technology-based approaches that promote brain health, combat stigma, reduce costs, and bridge health and economic disparities. Ahuja is interested in strengthening domestic and global aging networks to promote prevention and wellness for longer, healthier lives.Before joining the Institute, Ahuja worked as a health-care consultant, supporting health plan and provider clients serving members in Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health programs. He developed strategic development and planning expertise, value-based initiatives, and payer engagement strategies. Ahuja holds a master’s in Healthcare Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and a JD from American University in Washington, DC.
Harris Eyre, MD, PhDHarris A. Eyre, MBBS, PhD, is the fellow in brain health at the Center for Health and Biosciences. He is a physician and neuroscientist dedicated to enhancing the brain health of nations. His goal is to achieve economic and national security for communities. Eyre’s achievements span a diverse array of fields, including business and policy, and he is currently driving a systemic transformation. At the forefront of this effort is his leadership in the brain capital movement, which seeks to elevate brain capital into a vital national asset.
Prominent corporations now recognize that the global economy increasingly hinges on brain capital, placing significant value on cognitive, emotional, and social brain resources. Major international policy organizations emphasize that investing in the development of brain capital is indispensable for tackling contemporary societal challenges and fostering innovation. Brain capital has been highlighted in platforms such as the United Nations General Assembly, Bloomberg, the Conference of the Parties, OECD, Neuron, Forbes, PwC, The FT, Brookings, The Lancet, and U.S. Congressional testimonies.
Julie Fratantoni, PhD, CCC-SLP
Head of Research Integration & Partnerships
Center for BrainHealth, University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Julie Fratantoni is a cognitive neuroscientist who specializes in making neuroscience approachable and creating tools that help people become proactive about their brain health.
She leads the user experience and content creation for The BrainHealth Project™ – a 10 year, longitudinal research study seeking to define, measure, and improve brain health and performance across the lifespan. She leverages behavioral science for the development of the online BrainHealth dashboard and mobile app where participants access assessments (BrainHealth Index), coaching, and training.
Dr. Fratantoni also leads the Center’s Kindness Enterprise, a research and translational program seeking to uncover and harness the brain’s capacity for kindness, empathy and compassion as critical components of overall brain health and well-being.
Dr. Fratantoni received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Dallas. She is also a licensed Speech Language Pathologist, board certified in biofeedback, and trained in mindfulness and meditation techniques.
Dilip V. Jeste, MD
Dr. Jeste is Director of the Global Research Network on Social Determinants of Mental Health and Exposomics, President-Elect of the World Federation for Psychotherapy, and Editor-in-Chief of the International Psychogeriatrics. He is Former Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at University of California San Diego. Dr. Jeste has been Principal Investigator on a number of research and training grants, mostly from the NIH and VA. His main areas of research include schizophrenia, neuropsychiatric interventions, and healthy aging. He has published 15 books, including “Wiser”, “Positive Psychiatry”, and “Successful Cognitive and Emotional Aging”, and over 750 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is Past President of the American Psychiatric Association and American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Jeste is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and was a member of the NIMH Advisory Council and NIH Council of Councils. He was listed in “The Best Doctors in America” and in the Institute of Scientific Information list of the “world's most cited authors of the previous two decades". Dr. Jeste has received many awards from NIMH, VA, Society of Biological Psychiatry, Institute of Living, American College of International Physicians, National Alliance on Mental Illness, International Psychogeriatric Association, UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. He has been a TEDMED speaker.
Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS
Dr. Helen Lavretsky is the president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and a Professor In-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and a geriatric integrative psychiatrist with federally funded research program in geriatric depression and integrative mental health (NIMH, PCORI, and NCCIH) using mind-body interventions. She is the Semel Scholar in Integrative Mental Health and the Director of Integrative Psychiatry clinic and Director fo Research for the UCLA Integrative Medicine Collaborative. Dr Lavretsky is a recipient of the Career Development award from NIMH and the NCCIH, and other prestigious research awards. She is the Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and the Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the recipient of the Distinguished Investigator awards for research in geriatric psychiatry from the American College of Psychiatrists and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
Andrew B. Newberg, MD
Dr. Newberg is the director of research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health and a physician at Jefferson University Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine and nuclear medicine.
Dr. Newberg’s research now largely focuses on how brain function is associated with various mental states—in particular, religious and mystical experiences. In fact, he has written several highly acclaimed books on this subject. His research has included brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, as well as surveys of people’s spiritual experiences and attitudes. Dr. Newberg has also evaluated the relationship between religious or spiritual phenomena and health, and the effect of meditation on memory. He believes that it is important to keep science rigorous and religion religious.
Dr. Newberg has also used neuroimaging research projects to study aging and dementia, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as “neurotheology.”
Chris Walling, PsyD, MBA, C-IAYT, FABP
Dr. Walling is Associate Professor in the School of Professional Psychology & Health at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he serves as Core Faculty in the Somatic Psychology program. A licensed clinical psychologist and board certified psychoanalyst, he is the Research Chair & Past-President of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. Dr. Walling has previously served as Executive Administrator in the Department of Psychiatry and the Aging and Memory Research Center at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and as Executive Administrator in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He serves as Vice-President of Education & Outreach at the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation.
Dr. Walling is a Clinical Research Fellow at the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender and Reproduction located at Indiana University, Bloomington and serves on their International Advisory Council. Dr. Walling has lectured throughout the world on the intersections of the somatic psychology and the mind-body connection. Dr. Walling has presented at multiple conferences both nationally and internationally, including chairing the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation’s Brain Health Symposium, and the Biennale Congress of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy.
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