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Michael Meagher (Cogniciti): Let’s transform brain health from “suffer-in-silence” to “let-me-take-control”

Michael Meagher

What is your cur­rent job title and orga­ni­za­tion, and what excites you the most about work­ing there?
As the Pres­i­dent of Cog­nic­i­ti, a spin-off from Bay­crest reseach cen­ter and hos­pi­tal, I am excit­ed to help trans­form brain health from a reac­tive, “suf­fer-in-silence” space to a proac­tive, “let-me-take-con­trol-of-my-health” space.

Please tell us about your inter­est in brain health and per­for­mance. What areas are you most inter­ested in? What moti­vated you to pur­sue work in your field?
Same as car­diac health has been trans­formed through ear­li­er diag­no­sis and treat­ment, there are big oppor­tu­ni­ties in tak­ing the same ear­ly-warn­ing approach to brain health. Giv­en that many adults don’t see their doc­tor with a mem­o­ry con­cern until their symp­toms are well pro­gressed, there needs to be a bet­ter care mod­el that starts direct­ly with con­sumers. I want to put that direct-to-con­sumer warn­ing sys­tem in place. And, in so doing, to reduce health­care costs and improve patient out­comes.

What is one impor­tant thing you are work­ing on now, and where can peo­ple learn more about it?
Cog­nic­i­ti has worked with the sci­en­tists and researchers at Bay­crest to devel­op an online Brain Health Assess­ment. It’s pri­vate, free, and val­i­dat­ed for adults ages 50 to 79. To take it, sim­ply go to www.cogniciti.com.

What are 1–2 key things you’d like every per­son to under­stand about his/ her own brain and mind, that you think are com­mon­ly mis­un­der­stood?
As a soci­ety we tend to rely exclu­sive­ly on the health care com­mu­ni­ty to pro­mote health and pre­vent and treat dis­ease, and I believe that is a seri­ous mis­take. Sure, diag­no­sis and treat­ment should be the domain of the pro­fes­sion­als, but we need to give them a hand by help­ing adults take bet­ter care of them­selves, includ­ing empow­er­ing them to know when they should vis­it a doc­tor.

Where do you see clear “low-hang­ing fruit” to shape the future and the prac­tice of brain fit­ness?
I see a sig­nif­i­cant oppor­tu­ni­ty in pro­vid­ing mean­ing­ful, val­i­dat­ed self-assess­ments of brain health to indi­vid­u­als of all ages, espe­cial­ly to those 50+.

What would you like the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit to accom­plish?
Pre­vi­ous Sharp­Brains Sum­mits have helped us see the big­ger pic­ture, and make mul­ti­ple ini­tial con­nec­tions with research and indus­try cham­pi­ons to make that pic­ture real. Now that we’re bring­ing an inno­v­a­tive self-assess­ment to the mar­ket, I’d love to engage the com­mu­ni­ty in find­ings ways to mul­ti­ply its avail­abil­i­ty in North Amer­i­ca, Europe, Asia and beyond.

Final­ly, if I may…what do YOU do to stay sharp?
As a change agent, which, by def­i­n­i­tion, car­ries its share of stress…I exer­cise and eat healthy to keep that stress in check. Add to that hav­ing teen-age twins who enjoy keep­ing Dad real and well-ground­ed, espe­cial­ly when I start to take myself too seri­ous­ly…

2014_SharpBrains_Virtual_Summit_Shaping the Practice and the Future of Brain FitnessThis con­ver­sa­tion is part of a new inter­view series with Spon­sors & Speak­ers @ 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Octo­ber 28–30th). You can reg­is­ter with a 10% dis­count using pro­mo­tional code: sharp2014. Please join us!

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