Build brains better: A proposal for a White House Brain Capital Council to accelerate

All roads lead to the brain. Depression and anxiety, loneliness, Alzheimer’s disease, learning disorders, substance misuse disorder, long-haul COVID (i.e., “brain fog”), the toxic effects of air pollution on the brain, and even deaths of despair are all brain-based challenges. These issues typically fall through the proverbial cracks given they cut across policy areas and sectors of government. We need a coordinated approach to manage and ultimately prevent these issues: Such an approach will boost economic dynamism through reduced suffering, optimized brain performance and productivity, and new industries.

Brain-based challenges all involve brain health and wellness at an individual and societal level. They all represent internal or external disruptions whether biological, economic, structural, environmental, or social. Collectively, they were reducing life expectancy in the United States, long before the SARS-COV-2 pandemic. The pandemic, in turn, has made all of these brain-based issues profoundly worse.

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