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Report Names Maryland America’s most Brain Healthy State

Update Date: Mar 12, 2014 10:38 AM EDT

In a new report, researchers from America's Brain Health Index decided to rank all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their brain health status. This list was generated to help "provide a platform of discussion and debate that will encourage positive changes for better brain health," according to the Beautiful Minds website.

At the start of the project, the research team had to identify key indicators of brain health.

They developed 21 categories of brain health that included but are not limited to diet, nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being. The researchers focused on many key factors, such as education state rankings, incidence of Alzheimer's, sleeping patterns and religious, spiritual and community involvement. All 51 areas were evaluated in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

The researchers named Maryland America's most brain healthy state. Numbers two through 10 were filled by Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Alaska, District of Columbia, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Georgia. The list of the ten worst states for brain health included:

1. Mississippi

2. Alabama

3. North Dakota

4. Louisiana

5. Arkansas

6. Iowa

7. Indiana

8. Oklahoma

9. Tennessee

10. Kentucky

The team, made up of life'sDHATM, Michael Roizen, M.D., co-founder of Real Age Inc., and Majid Fotuhi, M.D., Ph.D., founder and chief medical officer at NeurExpand Brain center, used data from multiple sources. These sources included the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Alzheimer's Association's 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, the Corporation for National and Community Service Civic Life Index, and more.

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