Your Body. Your Brain. They're Connected.
When you see your doctor, you can’t leave your brain in the waiting room. The brain regulates your body’s functions, controls movement and coordination, controls thought and language, and forms your perceptions and emotions. All of these are critical to your body’s recovery from illness and the decisions you make about it. Many chronic and life threatening illnesses have consequences to the brain that can lengthen the duration and severity of the primary illness, resulting in poor treatment outcomes. In fact, some people die ten or more years ahead of their time because the impact on the brain was not identified or treated along with the physical repercussions of a health problem.
In the real world of medicine and people’s lives, two or more conditions at the same time is becoming more of the norm than the exception. Medicine isn’t prepared. Every diagnosis gets a separate code that is used to determine treatments, coverage, and care management. There are no treatment plans designed to manage two conditions simultaneously. Even in conditions that have established scientific and clinical data demonstrating that many brain disorders, classified as mental or cognitive, are a cause or an effect of chronic and life threatening illness. The two are bi-directional - one gets worse, so does the other. Costs and co-pays go up. The number of new conditions go up. The severity and longevity of both conditions go up.
Gravitas Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit medical and consumer health research center that works collaboratively with leading organizations in science, medicine, healthcare, patient advocacy, and technology to determine the medical practices that are needed to reduce the severity and longevity of two conditions happening at the same time. Gravitas Research Teams are led by physician specialists for each chronic and serious disease known to have secondary brain impact, working collaboratively with Neurologists, Psychiatrists, and neuroscientists, to create cliniclal practice and technology models that are supported by clinical evidence. Gravitas Health Consumer Research is the largest initiative of its kind that is actively listening to the challenges you face, the individual support you need, and the type of connection with your doctor you prefer.
We're making sure that Brain Health is as important as heart health in every medical specialty and every healthcare setting.
(FYI - Your brain keeps your heart beating. Along with everything else in your life)
Understanding Brain Health
Millions of people fall through the cracks of medicine every day because of undiagnosed or poorly managed brain conditions. You could be one of them. Chronic illness such as Lupus, arthritis, heart and lung disease, diabetes, hormone disorders, and a host of others cause depression or anxiety, yet most patients are not warned or properly treated. Chemotherapy and radiation cause a dementia-like condition, often referred to as “Chemo-brain”, which is not monitored so that science can learn more about how to combat it and whether it can become permanent. A significant and rapidly growing percentage of the population has dementia, Alzheimer's, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and autism that make people more susceptible to new chronic illness or have cognitive problems caused by medications. Our objective is to make sure every doctor, in every specialty, that treats chronic or life threatening illness, or see patients who have a brain injury or disease, have the skills and tools to protect and preserve brain health.
What Brain Health Looks Like
If all doctors told their patients about brain illnesses that may result from their condition or treatment and how to recognize them, early reporting and care would minimize them quickly. If doctors and patients recognize depression or anxiety as the biologic response to illness that it is, instead of a social liability, the medical and social stigma would be eliminated and people would be quickly healed (it's treatable, you know). If oncologists did quick cognitive assessments prior to starting therapy, they would have baselines to measure the severity and trajectory of the resulting brain disorders so that they can be responded to by further scientific study and patient services. If doctors across every medical specialty identified the impact the problems an illness, or its treatment had on brain function, the value of their care services would be immeasurable.
What Brain Health Feels Like
Over 70 percent of the US has depression, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, stroke, autism, or other brain illness, disease, or injury. That means that about 90% of the US population are either directly, or by association with a friend, family member, coworker, or retailer, impacted. If this can be minimized by every doctor taking the health of the brain as seriously as they do the health of the heart, like when blood pressure is monitored, more people would flourish. New innovation, policy, opportunity, economic growth, and relationships depend on our ability to think, reason, and make good decisions.
What Brain Health in Medicine Requires
The advantages of technology can expand the capability and capacity of doctors and their staff to accurately and skillfully reduce the burden of two, co-occurring conditions. Insurance companies and newly adopted mental health policy must also expand to pay doctors for their time and expertise. Our research is designed to provide the medical evidence and the clinical practices that demonstrate that it is of less expense and greater value to overall health, to treat not only the primary illness, but the follow-on impact it, or its treatment, has on the brain.