Study Now Open To All
Take it Today!
What is the LWR Brain Health Study?
The BHI launched the Brain Health Pilot Study in August 2020 and randomly recruited LWR households to participate via mailed invitation letters. We are now opening this study to the broader LWR community. If you did not receive a letter to participate in the pilot study, and you are willing and interested, now is your time. We thank you for your support.
This study is a comprehensive investigation of ways adults function mentally, socially, cognitively, and overall, as well as the factors in people’s lives that present risk or promote resilience in brain health and performance. Four-hundred and sixty-five LWR residents participated in the randomly recruited pilot study. This next wave of data collection will enable even more information to be collected from LWR community members, and will allow us to learn about who may be willing research participants in LWR (e.g., if you choose to take this study, you may be interested in other opportunities). This information is helpful as we strategize future outreach and communications around research participation. For example, are there certain age demographics that appear to be more interested or available to participate in research? Do we need to implement creative strategies to engage other groups that are less represented in our current sample?
Who can participate in the LWR Brain Health Study?
Anyone 18 years of age or older who lives, works, learns or plays (e.g., recreates, spends a significant amount of time socializing, volunteering, visiting, participating in activities and/or hobbies) in LWR may participate in this study. Upon logging onto the study website you will be prompted to complete a brief screening form. Your responses will determine your eligibility.
- If you were not randomly selected to participate in the Pilot Study, via mailed invitation, you are invited to participate now.
- If you received a letter to participate in the randomly selected Pilot Study, and you did NOT participate at that time, you are invited to participate now.
If you received a letter to participate in the randomly selected Pilot Study, and you DID participate at that time, please DO NOT participate again.
Who is conducting this research?
Researchers and clinicians from the Brain Health Initiative, Massachusetts General Hospital (MassGeneral), a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.
If I choose to participate, what can I expect?
If you choose to participate in the study (thank you!), you will be directed to pages that include information about the study; your rights to privacy and confidentiality, and your permission to stop participating at any time. Then, you will be asked to provide your consent. After providing consent, you will be able to access the online LWR Brain Health survey and cognitive games which take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete.
Why does a person need to live, work, learn, or play in Lakewood Ranch to participate?
Our current funding asks us to learn about how the LWR environment, lifestyle, and community may affect people’s brain health and performance. At this time, we are focusing our investigations on those individuals who experience the LWR community as their place of residence, where they work, go to school, or where they otherwise spend a significant amount of time.
Why should I participate in the LWR Brain Health Study? What’s the benefit to me?
By participating you will contribute to a historic first step of a region-wide long-term study of brain health. The data collected will help improve the understanding about brain health in general, which will provide a greater understanding about how to promote and protect brain health and fight brain illness at the individual and community level. You may feel particularly gratified about participating in research, as an opportunity to give back to the global research community, the greater Suncoast region, and to help inform the selection of future brain health innovations.
The LWR Brain Health Study will provide invaluable data to the community and to the Brain Health Initiative about community trends and needs related to brain health and brain illness. Further, the data will be used to identify innovative brain health interventions and solutions that may improve brain health outcomes and support prevention, early detection, and performance optimization across the lifespan of our residents, workforce and visitors.
Based, in part, on data analyzed from the BH Pilot Study, innovative interventions will be selected, with community input, from a global set of brain health solutions (like neurotechnology), that will be vetted and brought to the region for validation and feasibility studies through the developing Brain Health Innovation Lab. The first clinical trial, for example, a Harvard Medical School telehealth innovation to support a brain healthy lifestyle, is anticipated in late 2021.
If I choose not to participate in the LWR Brain Health Study, can I participate in other BHI health-related studies?
Absolutely. If you choose not to participate in the LWR Brain Health Study, you will still have the opportunity to participate in other Brain Health Initiative-related studies. In the future, we intend to expand the study to include residents from the greater Suncoast and to conduct studies with children and adolescents. Further, the BHI will be bringing innovative interventions to promote and protect brain health and fight brain illness that focus on brain health prevention, early detection, innovative intervention, and performance optimization across the lifespan. These validation and feasibility studies will be made available to residents, workforce, and visitors.
Why does it take up to 90 minutes to complete the LWR Brain Health Study?
In our day to day lives, we are bombarded with 5-minute customer satisfaction surveys. But, could you imagine if 5-minutes was all it took to capture the many factors that affect your brain health?! Several different measures are included in the LWR Brain Health Study to collect information about your brain health, including life experiences, daily routines, relationships, and mental and physical health. The more information we can collect, the better able we will be to understand the multiple factors that contribute to brain health and performance.
What type of questions will be asked in the LWR Brain Health Study?
The pilot survey is divided into six sections. Those who participate will be asked about their background, such as age, occupation and education history, and brain health protective and risk factors associated with relationships with others, life experiences, mental and physical health, lifestyle habits, and experiences with COVID-19. Participants will be directed to take three online cognitive games through Harvard’s website.
What type of cognitive game will I complete?
After completing the survey, you will automatically be directed to take three online cognitive games through the Harvard website. The games will take about 10 minutes to complete (in total) and will be like completing a “brain game” or puzzle. The games will target certain aspects of memory and attention.
Why do some of the questions in the LWR Brain Health Study ask about sensitive information?
Some of the questions we ask relate to sensitive information, such as relationship quality, substance use, difficult life experiences, and depression. These questions have been used in previous studies and capture important aspects of what we are studying – brain health and brain illness. Your answers will remain confidential and will be used solely for the purposes of this research.
If you have additional questions regarding the LWR Brain Health Study, or want to confirm whether you were randomly selected to participate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have queries related to speaking engagements and Dr. Stephanie Peabody, please contact Tonia Whitfield (email@example.com).
Watch why these Lakewood Ranch residents are standing up for their brain health and participating in the LWR Brain Health Study.