Barcelona Brain Health Initiative (BBHI) is a research project aimed at knowing and understanding how the health of our brain can be maintained.

Promoted by the Institut Guttmann, BBHI is developed under the scientific lead of professor Álvaro Pascual-Leone, Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Science at Harvard Medical School.

A project with the methodological support from members of HARVARD CATALYST, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

A healthy brain is key to a successful life

Keeping our brain healthy is essential to live with quality of life, to optimize our own resources and also to prevent and delay the appearance of diseases.

Brain health

Developing and preserving neural networks is vital for living in society, maintaining autonomy and recovering in case of injury or illness.

Cognitive reserve

Rates the different capacities of reponse that people have facing the same neurological disease.

Brain plasticity

Is the hability of the brain to be modified while the environment changes and also through the life circumstances.

The participants

Our community of volunteers is made up of people interested in knowing how brain function can be maintained as we age.

The study collects information on health indicators through a series of online questionnaires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find answers to the most common questions related to the project.

Participating in the BBHI project makes you being part of a community of people interested in knowing how to keep our brains healthy and to face life, in particular the old age, on a healthy way.

To participate it is necessary that all volunteers fill out some questionnaires through the web. This is what we call the monitoring phase and it develops parallel to the evaluation and the intervention phases of the project.

The questionnaires collect personal information about your life habits such as: medical data, physical exercise, diet, socialization, sleep, cognitive training and life plan.

These questionnaires will be administered periodically and this phase will last until the end of the project.

If you accept and meet certain criteria determined by the researchers, you can also be part of the evaluation and intervention group in the other phases of the project.


In a evalutaion phase, which began in 2018, a group of participants from the general BBHI community has been selected based on their lifestyle and general health perception. This group is formed by approximately 1000 people who have been invited to do a follow up.

This follow-up is done from in-person visits, collecting more precise information about their general health status, their cognitive function such as memory and attention and their life habits.

These tests include magnetic resonance, electroencephalogram, neuropsychological evaluation, physical tests and blood extraction, among others.

In addition, in an intervention phase a subgroup of people (approximately 500) will be offered the possibility of entering into a personalized program of change of habits or lifestyles.

In this program, half of the participants will receive individualized guidelines to optimize their life habits related to brain health. In addition, a personal coach  will monitor their habits via telematics, using an APP. This coach will be in permanent contact with the volunteers, ensuring the intensification of healthy living habits.

The other half of the group, 250 people, the control group, will continue to receive general information on healthy living habits without any further indication.

If you do not enter the evaluation group of the project, you can enter the intervention group because it will be done with different people.

If you participate in the study, you will receive totally free information about your brain health status, reflected by the type of habits you perform and tips about how to improve the health of your brain.

In addition, you have helped to find out what we can do to maintain brain health as the population ages. That is, you will be part of a research project aimed at improving the lives of people, bringing benefits to society.

The data collected in the study will be stored on a safe and confidential manner, complying with the current regulations and laws. This information will be analyzed only for scientific purposes, always anonymously, and will never be given to third parties for any commercial or advertising purposes.

If you decide to stop participating in the study, at the time and for the reason you consider appropriate, your data will be removed permanently from all the databases of the project if you so manifest.

As the study progresses, researchers will communicate and disseminate the findings through different channels. On one hand, the project website will update the most important advances. On the other hand, different events will be organized open to the general public to diseminate the status of the project. In addition, researchers will present the most relevant results at international scientific meetings, congresses and journals.

The Barcelona Brain Health Initiative is a project led by the Institut Guttmann and has a multidisciplinary team of professionals.

On one hand, it has the scientific leadership of Álvaro Pascual Leone (Harvard University) and the advice of a range of internationally recognized scientists, both local and foreign.

In addition, it has the support and cooperation of the research and knowledge area of “la Caixa”, and with the support of the Abertis Foundation and other collaborating companies.