In December 2020, the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative reached the milestone of conducting 1,000 face-to-face biomedical evaluations to volunteers to evaluate their brain health. “Characterizing 1,000 people provides us with a unique and very rich cohort, from which we can obtain very important data that will allow us to understand how it is possible to maintain mental and brain health throughout life,” says the Principal Investigator of the project, David Bartrés.
These tests began in May 2018. Since then, the participants have undergone extensive medical tests that include a medical visit, an analysis, a brain MRI, a neuropsychological evaluation, an EEG, a stress test and, in some cases, a study of cortical excitability using transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography. Globally, the volunteers have dedicated 6,000 hours to this phase, the equivalent of 235 days.
The 1,000th volunteer is named Anna Aligué, she is a teacher in a rural school and assures that this part of the study “has been fun, stimulating and motivating”.
The BBHI will now repeat the biomedical evaluations to all these volunteers, with the aim of evaluating the changes over time in their brain health. In parallel, a third strategy is begun to promote healthy lifestyle habits. It consists of developing multimodal interventions that will combine cognitive training, diet modification, physical activity, sleep hygiene or participation modifications, which will be monitored through the mobile phone using the Brain Health Coaching App.