Prevention Neuroscience: A new frontier for preventive medicine.

Preventive medicine

PubMedID: 26876625

Hall PA. Prevention Neuroscience: A new frontier for preventive medicine. Prev Med. 2016;86114-116.
Prevention neuroscience may be defined as follows: an interdisciplinary field concerned with the neurobiological factors that influence susceptibility to preventable disease, disability or mortality. It includes, but is not limited to: examination of brain health as an outcome, brain activity as a predictor of health outcomes, brain structures/systems as causal determinants of health outcomes (e. g. , health behaviours), and the brain as a mediator of other causal influences (e. g. , social conditions) on health outcomes. This commentary describes concepts, theory and research illustrating each of these scenarios using exercise, smoking cessation, dietary behaviour, and health disparities as examples. It is argued that neuroscience may provide both concepts and methods that may be possible (even fruitful) to incorporate into preventive medicine research and health promotion practise. Although public health practitioners and cognitive neuroscientists have not traditionally crossed paths outside of the context of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and other dementias, it is easy to envision a future where many common disease prevention activities involve collaboration between the two disciplines, and the cache of tools available to the preventive medicine expert includes neuroimaging and neuromodulation techniques.