You can Imagine...

...Brain Health

Brain Health

Brain Health

We have established the Avielle Foundation to address the causes of violence through a focus on brain health. We want to start using this term, brain health, because mental health is intangible – it comes with the fear, trepidation, and stigma of the unknown. We need to recognize that the brain is just another organ and is the source of all our behaviors. There are real, physical manifestations within the brain that can be imaged, measured, quantified, and understood – We can work with that. We can identify risk factors that lead to violent and aggressive behaviors and protective factors that move us away from violence and towards compassion, kindness, connection, and resilience. We are bridging the biochemical science and the behavioral science to make the invisible visible.

Objective #1:  To Understand the Risk Factors Leading to Violent Behaviors

The Avielle Foundation is working closely with world leaders in brain health research to study the brain and to understand why someone would engage in harmful behavior.  In the field of brain health, too little is known about what drives violent behaviors. Clearly something is wrong with a person capable of perpetrating violence – violence to self or to others. We hope to better understand the biological and environmental factors associated with these pathologies. We can then educate students, parents, teachers, healthcare providers, law enforcement, and other community members about how to identify and responsibly advocate for those at risk of violence. We can develop and put into practice innovative policies to facilitate effective prevention and interventions programs. Education and information will dispel fear and trepidation associated with getting help. Hope stems from understanding, and with this hope, we can actively build protective factors within ourselves, advocate for our loved ones, and create compassionate, kind, connected, and resilient communities.

We have a research fellowship and grant selection process to determine where the Avielle Foundation funds are distributed. Successful applicants are chosen in one of three research areas:

  1. Novel brain research, focused on understanding the behavioral and biochemical mechanisms of violence, empathy, and compassion.
  2. Innovative public health research focused on effective prevention strategies, interventions, and cures of violence.
  3. Strengthening brain health education and awareness.

Many of the world’s leaders in the neurosciences, psychiatry, clinical psychology, neurology, and social work serve on our selection committee reviewing and prioritizing research fellow recipients.

Paradigm 3

Violence: Understand it to end it.

Click here to learn some interesting facts about Brain Health


Click here to see Objective #2: Brain Healthy Communities


Golgi stained pyramidal neurons (image courtesy of W. Seeley, MD, UCSF)

Golgi stained pyramidal neurons (image courtesy of W. Seeley, MD, UCSF)