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    Get to Know the Brain Health Network

    USC Vice President for Research Julius Fridriksson explains the inspiration behind the Brain Health Network and why it’s needed in South Carolina.

USC Brain Health Network

As South Carolina’s flagship university, we are spearheading an unprecedented new opportunity to vastly improve care for South Carolinians experiencing symptoms related to memory and cognitive decline.

Our Mission

Our mission is to ensure statewide access to advanced, collaborative cognitive care, and to provide community support throughout South Carolina.

Our Goals

  • Greater access to care
  • Further support for individuals diagnosed
  • Improved innovations in diagnostics and treatment

Bringing Specialized Care to Underserved Areas

The University of South Carolina is proud to launch the Brain Health Network (BHN) to enhance patient diagnosis and care, and improve access to brain health services. This state-funded initiative will bring together eminent physicians and researchers to solve cognitive health problems and reduce disparities in cognitive health care – all for the betterment of South Carolina and beyond.

Through the network, we hope to increase provider and patient access to care in the areas of dementia, Alzheimer’s and neurology. Having a supportive network within their community offers life-changing peace of mind for patients and caregivers.

Leo Bonilha, M.D., Ph.D.

The Care Process

The Brain Health Network focuses on enhancing and refining the cognitive screening process and improving diagnosis by streamlining how patients receive the imaging studies, lab work and cognitive assessments they need, while providing care support for patients, families and primary care providers. Once patients, caregivers and providers gain access to this extensive, comprehensive network, they will receive the expert support needed to navigate the continuum of care more easily than ever before. 

When they are referred to the BHN, patients will progress through a complete series of cognitive evaluations to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Patients and their primary health care providers receive a customized care plan, developed in consultation with a neurologist. With this plan in place, the Brain Health Network Care Team will coordinate with primary care providers and specialists to ensure patients receive the treatments they need.

The Brain Health Network is staffed by a dedicated team of caring professionals. Working alongside primary care providers, they schedule and perform cognitive evaluations, deliver clear, customized patient care plans and support patients and families as they navigate the health care system.

The Brain Health Network is proud to offer clinical services from a growing team of:

  • Behavioral neurologists
  • Advanced practice providers
  • Speech language pathologists
  • Social workers
  • Community health workers

Brain Health Center

As part of its long-term commitment, the University of South Carolina plans to open the USC Brain Health Center in Columbia in late 2025. This hub for cognitive services will feature powerful new technologies, facilities and tools, including a ­first-in-the-state 7 Tesla MRI, a 3 Tesla MRI, infusions and additional services that will benefi­t South Carolinians and health care providers.

Thanks to the technology that’s available through the BHN, the program will drive new research and opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials. Through this cutting-edge research, clinicians and researchers will gain new insights into dementia and develop more effective treatments and care protocols to enhance the lives of patients across the state.

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