Healthy Brain Network
The study of brain development is the single most important route to new and better diagnostic tools and treatments. That’s why the Child Mind Institute is leading an unprecedented initiative to collect imaging and clinical data from 10,000 young people —and share this de-identified data with the global scientific community to accelerate discovery. In the process, this community-based research program, the Healthy Brain Network, is providing mental health evaluations and follow-up resources at no cost to 10,000 children.
All participants and their families will receive an extensive feedback session with a licensed clinician following their evaluation. And the comprehensive data provided — brain imaging and genetics, along with psychiatric, behavioral and cognitive information — will form an online database available to all. When the scientific community uses this data to identify biological markers of psychiatric illness, it will improve diagnosis and treatment from an objective biological perspective.
We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to advance the science of the developing brain to help these children.
Unlike other research efforts where data is held until papers are published, or longer, the Healthy Brain Network is committed to open science and will share its results with researchers around the world. In addition, the mobile units will take cutting-edge technologies out of the lab and into communities to facilitate data collection and to address the needs of children who may otherwise not have access to care.
The goal of the Healthy Brain Network is bold: to seek out biological markers of mental health disorders in the developing brain. Every day that knowledge grows closer. The community-based research center on Staten Island has begun collecting what will be the largest-ever database on the developing brain. Plans are in motion to open additional research centers in Brooklyn and other boroughs in the coming years to enable the study to succeed. As the Child Mind Institute president Harold Koplewicz says, “We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to advance the science of the developing brain to help these children.”