Been wondering about how to take care of your brain? Just like heart health, brain health can be maintained with lifestyle behaviors that will help keep you at your best, and work to prevent brain disease. Getting to know your McCance Brain Care Score(TM) is an important first step. Take the quiz now.  

Everyone has room to improve – pick one area that works for you, and take steps to improve your brain care now. If you need help getting your medical data (blood pressure, A1c, cholesterol, etc.) log in to your online medical record or talk to your doctor at your next visit, and bring a copy of your brain care score with you. 

Next step, learn more about what you can do to improve your brain care. The resources below cover the science behind brain health, as well as practical tips you can use in your daily life. Science is ever evolving, so be sure to check back regularly for new insights and helpful tips!  

Below you will find a few resources to help you get started – for a more complete list, download this PDF with more suggestions. 

Blood Pressure Control: Lowering your blood pressure can reduce risk of stroke, improving your Brain Care Score. 

6 tips to reduce blood pressure 

What’s the big deal about managing blood pressure? (Español

Association between blood pressure control and risk ICH (stroke) 

Improving Diet: A Mediterranean diet that’s high in vegetables, fruit and grains can improve brain health and heart health. 

What goes into a Mediterranean diet, getting started 

7 foods to boost your brain health 

Here’s a “diet for your brain” 

Avoiding Alcohol/Smoking:  

Even moderate consumption of alcohol can increase risk of cognitive decline over time; smoking is also detrimental to cognition.

Even one dose of alcohol is enough to modify the brain 

MGH “Living Tobacco Free” program 

Rethinking drinking 

Increasing Exercise: Exercising 150 minutes a week can improve heart and brain health. Finding exercise you like and getting started is a great first step. 

Setting reasonable goals – how to get started 

Living in the Boston area? Find free programs near you 

Aerobics isn’t the only exercise that can slow mild cognitive decline 

Getting Quality Sleep: Research has demonstrated that getting quality sleep is key to memory and brain health. 

Aging and sleep: making changes for brain health 

Sleep: Bet you need more 

Brain basics: Understanding sleep 

Reducing Stress:  Reducing stress, through meditation or other means, can improve your mental health overall, and reduce risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 

Manage stress, and learn about the mind-body connection 

Self-reflection can improve brain health in older adults 

Understand the relationship between stress and Alzheimer’s 

Building Relationships and Learning New Things: Research has demonstrated that having people you can talk with and learning new things are good for brain health.  

Boston area residents can access many free programs 

The risk of loneliness 

Making friends as an adult 

How to make education an investment after college 

Striving for Meaning in Life: Having a sense of purpose can improve brain health at any age. 

Mental health and well-being 

The art of Ikigai 

Purpose and health 

Following the S.H.I.E.L.D plan can help you remember how to stay on track with brain care. 

Want to learn more about the McCance Center for Brain Health, and the McCance Brain Care ScoreTM? Visit our website, or read a recent medical journal article published by our faculty: “Brain health begins with brain care.” The Lancet, Neurology. November 2022