The Healthy Brain Network will be the largest, most comprehensive neuroscience dataset focused on child and adolescent mental health and its interplay with physical health. We seek to gather information from 10,000 participants over five years.
The data provided by participants will form an online database available to the global scientific community to identify biological markers of psychiatric illness. The key approaches embraced by the Healthy Brain Network are “open science” and “big data.” If you are a scientist interested in conducting an analysis, please visit our scientific data portal to get details about study methodology and data or request access to the Healthy Brain Network Biobank.
What are “big data” and “open science”?
Big data means that researchers study large and complex sets of data and information to identify patterns and make connections between the biology of the developing brain and individual behaviors, environmental factors, lifestyle, and mental illness.
Big data is even more powerful when researchers take an open science approach. By sharing the data with researchers around the world, the Healthy Brain Network will raise the study of the developing brain to a global scale. This information sharing also means that scientists and engineers who might never study child and adolescent mental health can easily enter the field and provide novel interpretations and approaches. And that’s how we make progress.
The goal of the Healthy Brain Network study is to find biological markers — brainwave signals, images, maybe even blood signatures — that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and learning disorders from an objective biological perspective. This is why we are bringing together brain imaging, genetics, and biological samples with standardized psychiatric, behavioral, cognitive, and lifestyle information.
Researchers are showing that the brains of people with psychiatric disorders are different from typical brains — and this is helping to create objective diagnostic tests that lead to better treatment that will change lives.
Your participation makes a difference
With your help, we might soon be able to see how the brain is different in a child with ADHD versus OCD, and treat the disorder more accurately and effectively. We could identify children at risk for depression or bipolar disorder and intervene early — when intervention has been proven most effective.
Research in children’s mental health can literally change the lives of countless children today and for generations to come. If you want to join the effort, you can learn more about Healthy Brain Network participation or find out about our other studies.