A new venture from the University of Minnesota may change how we understand brain health

The University of Minnesota has purchased the former Shriner's Hospital in Minneapolis to use for the institute. (FOX 9)

The future for our brains may very well take shape in a building in the Twin Cities.

The University of Minnesota is buying the Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis to create a place, unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Dr. Michael Georgieff is a driving force behind this new Brain Health Institute.

"There's a basic principle here that the earlier you can diagnose, the more plastic, the more recoverable the brain is and the better you can do," said Dr. Georgieff.

The University of Minnesota and Dr. Georgieff have already been doing work to diagnose autism in infants and they pulled pediatrics and psychology together in the last few years to focus on development.

But this new institute takes it one big step farther, focusing on two critical development stages. The first three years of life and adolescence and it brings together researchers and doctors from many different fields.

Dr. Michael Georgieff is the driving force behind the new Brain Health Institute. (FOX 9)

"We call it collision space," said Dr. Georgieff. "To have all these people who speak very different languages, start to learn each other's language and that is what helps."

The institute will look at nutrition, stroke, fetal alcohol syndrome, brain disorders, depression, anxiety, and others to understand how brains can get off track and back on again. It gets down to understanding how to help your genes stay healthy.

"The science part of the center is understanding how the brain works and then leveraging that to start working on the actual conditions," Dr. Georgieff explained. "People would say it's nature versus nurture. It doesn't work that way. It's nature versus nurture working together."

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