This week the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas is starting construction on a new institute – and it’s shaped a like a brain.
The elliptical, mostly glass building will be a place for healthy people, as well as those with a brain injury, to asses and enhance their brain function. The 62,000-square-foot facility is slated to open in the Dallas Medical District in Spring of 2017.
Sandra Bond Chapman, founder of the Center for BrainHealth, says when the Brain Performance Institute opens, it will offer the equivalent of physicals for the brain, virtual reality training for people on the autism spectrum, as well as training for educators.
“This is going to be an institute that’s accessible by the public,” she says. “So this old idea of needing referrals isn’t necessary.”
All the training will be driven by the latest science — the benefit to opening the Institute right next to the Center for BrainHealth, Chapman says, is that there’s an immediate connection to experts and the most up-to-date-research.
In July, KERA reported on the Center for BrainHealth’s research study on recovery after traumatic brain injuries. There are more than 75 funded, ongoing studies ranging from healthy aging and teen reasoning to autism, Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder.
In 2017, when neuroscientists and clinicians at the Center finish studies, their findings can be put into action next door, at the Brain Performance Institute.
“So it won’t be like a museum, it will really be more like a brain gym,” Chapman says. “We want people building resilience, building reserve so they can maintain their greatest asset, their brain function.”
Chapman hopes the Institute gets people curious about how their brains work, instead of fearful of the unknown.
‘The new Institute will focus more on enhancing brain potential than highlighting brain deficits,’ she says.