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Brain Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” According to the WHO, depression is a common mental disorder, affecting more than 350 million people worldwide. Mental disorders also have a negative impact on business through significant disability, absenteeism, and productivity loss among working-age adults.

Stigma in society and fragmentation in the care system have resulted in inadequate identification, treatment, and community support for individuals struggling with mental illness. To challenge the stigma of mental illness head-on, highlight the biological nature of this condition, and afford it due parity to other illnesses, we refer to mental health as brain health. Health promotion, disease prevention, and disease management strategies can all be applied to promote brain health. There is increasing evidence of the positive impact of diet and physical activity on brain health, and ample evidence supporting the pivotal role of sleep in recharging the brain and enhancing memory has recently emerged. A range of cognitive and behavioral tools has become increasingly popular for brain health promotion. Critical to the management of individuals already experiencing brain health ailments are effective screening and rapid referral to quality treatment.

The Vitality Institute’s aim is to identify, evaluate, and promote evidence-based strategies for brain health promotion and destigmatization in the workplace, community, and healthcare settings.

The Evidence

From the Blog

Redefining the unacceptable: Making prevention of disease and promotion of health priorities

Blog post is based on Derek Yach’s TEDx talk in Monte Carlo on November 26, 2016 Governments and businesses spend more than 95% of healthcare costs responding to the consequences of neglected disease prevention and... More »

Derek Yach | Nov 26, 2016
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From the Blog

Healthy Aging in Action: The Surgeon General’s National Prevention Strategy for Older Adults

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has released new recommendations to promote healthy aging in later life: “Healthy Aging in Action: Advancing the National Prevention Strategy”. The report highlights governmental policies and programs that... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Nov 17, 2016
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From the Blog

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle to Avoid Diabetes

Today is World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on November 14. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating... More »

Cother Hajat | Nov 14, 2016
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From the Blog

Today is World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day (October 10) calls attention to the continuing need for education, awareness, and advocacy on mental health. First celebrated in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity... More »

Cother Hajat & Cary Conway | Oct 10, 2016
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From the Blog

Rounding Up the War on Cancer

On September 28, 2016, The Economist hosted its second annual “War on Cancer” event in Boston, Massachusetts. The one-day meeting featured influential speakers, including Greg Simon, the Executive Director of the Cancer Moonshot Taskforce; Kyu... More »

Gillian Christie | Oct 7, 2016
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From the Blog

Accelerating Cancer Prevention

The World Health Organization estimates that the number of new cancer cases will rise by 70% over the next two decades. While the dialogue on cancer is too often on treatment, about a third of... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Sep 22, 2016
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From the Blog

Wearables Weekly

Wearables Weekly Brought to you by Sarah Kunkle and Gillian Christie, Wearables Weekly is a weekly newsletter highlighting noteworthy stories and leading insights into wearable tracking devices and other personalized health technologies. Please contact More »

Gillian Christie and Sarah Kunkle | Jun 20, 2016
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From the Blog

Mental Health Emerging Out of the Shadows

The 1930s marked substantial investment by the Rockefeller Foundation in the scientific development of mental health, including psychiatry, neurology, and care symptoms, in the US, the UK, and elsewhere. This funding provided a foundation for... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Apr 26, 2016
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From the Blog

Can Physical Exercise Make You Smarter?

Physical exercise makes our bodies healthier by helping to control weight and reducing the risks of various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, and some cancers. But can physical activity also make you... More »

Kristie Willenborg | Apr 13, 2016
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From the Blog

Shaping the Future of Aging

As the world’s population grows older, governments, cities, businesses, and many others must react to and prepare for a number of significant changes. For example, there are an estimated 46.8 million people currently living with... More »

Dominic Lee | Mar 5, 2016