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Citing Lakewood Ranch’s new collaboration with the Academy for Brain Health and Performance and Massachusetts General Hospital, ideal-LIVING magazine has named the master-planned community to its “Best Wellness Environment” category in its Best of the Best issue.

Lakewood Ranch has been chosen from among communities across the U.S. for a decades-long study of the risks and protective factors that contribute to brain health. The study administrators say that's because the pillars that support brain health are built into the community: positive social engagement, connection to nature, physical activity and physical fitness, stress resilience, nutrition, sleep, cognitive stimulation, novelty, emotional wellbeing, living a life with purpose, making a positive impact.

Ultimately, a Brain Health Innovation Lab will be established at the CORE campus (Collaboration Opportunities for Research and Exploration) in Lakewood Ranch, to be staffed with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, technologists, engineers and entrepreneurs who will research and put into practice “specific interventions that might improve brain health and performance, reduce the risk of brain-related diseases and increase neurorehabilitation outcomes when pathology or injury exist,” according to the initiative’s website. Already, $1.4 million of the $1.6 million in private donations that will be needed to launch the lab has been raised.

The decades-long Brain Health Initiative is modeled after the famed Framingham Heart Study, which has tracked the cardiovascular health of some 5,000 Framingham, Massachusetts, residents since 1948. The third generation of participants is now being studied.

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