Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Cognitive Health and Training News

Brain Health NewsSev­eral recent news (includ­ing video of our recent panel discussion):

1) Study Finds Improved Cog­ni­tive Health among Older Amer­i­cans (Jour­nal of the Alzheimer’s Association)

- “Soci­etal invest­ment in build­ing and main­tain­ing cog­ni­tive reserve through for­mal edu­ca­tion in child­hood and con­tin­ued cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion dur­ing work and leisure in adult­hood may help limit the bur­den of demen­tia among the grow­ing num­ber of older adults worldwide”.

- “Cog­ni­tive impair­ment dropped from 12.2 per­cent in 1993 to 8.7 per­cent in 2002 among peo­ple 70 and older.“ 

- “Edu­ca­tion and finan­cial sta­tus appeared over­all to pro­tect against devel­op­ing cog­ni­tive impairment.”

- “Fur­ther, they sug­gested, the results sup­port the notion of cog­ni­tive reserve, which hypoth­e­sizes that the brains of more edu­cated peo­ple may be bet­ter able to sus­tain greater dam­age from Alzheimer’s dis­ease or other pathol­ogy before clin­i­cal signs of impair­ment appear.”

- Link to full study: here.

2)  Our Brain Fit­ness Panel a few weeks ago touched on impli­ca­tions of the cog­ni­tive reserve.

- The video of the entire 1.5 hour panel is now available.

- This post fea­tured the main high­lights.

3) Dakim ® , Inc. Secures $10.6 Mil­lion Series C Fund­ing Led by Galen Part­ners. Dan Michel, CEO of Dakim, is one of the pan­elists you can watch in the panel mentioned above

- “an inno­va­tor in brain fit­ness tech­nol­ogy solu­tions, today announced the com­ple­tion of a $10.6 mil­lion Series C financ­ing. The round was led by Galen Part­ners, a lead­ing pri­vate equity firm spe­cial­iz­ing in health­care investing…Mr. Jahns said, “Dakim has devel­oped an inno­v­a­tive, afford­able and prac­ti­cal solu­tion to assist the rapidly aging pop­u­la­tion main­tain their brain health and fight Alzheimer’s disease.”

Com­ment: fas­ci­nat­ing to see such a large round-which makes sense given demo­graphic trends in this emerg­ing field. But, still, it is a sig­nif­i­cant bet. Hope­fully part of those resources will be devoted to research behind the spe­cific impact of the Dakim cog­ni­tive intervention.

4) Sci­en­tific Learn­ing Reports 2007 Results: a com­pany that offers cog­ni­tive train­ing to K12 students

- “a lead­ing provider of brain fit­ness solu­tions for the edu­ca­tion market…Revenue for the year totaled $46.1 mil­lion, an increase of 12% com­pared to $41.0 mil­lion for the year ended Decem­ber 31, 2006.” and “We expanded our address­able mar­ket through the acqui­si­tion of the Read­ing Assis­tant which moves us closer to the main­stream market.”

Com­ment: a very inter­est­ing trade-off here. On the one hand, Sci­en­tific Learn­ing has great research and clin­i­cal evi­dence for spe­cific groups of kids with spe­cific pri­or­i­ties. Kids with audi­tory pro­cess­ing as main bot­tle­neck may see clear improve­ments after their inten­sive inter­ven­tion. Other kids may also ben­e­fit, but unclear at what point lies the bal­ance between clin­i­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and the time & invest­ment required. Com­pa­nies obvi­ously want to grow and increase “address­able mar­kets”. The ques­tion is, how can schools best make the deci­sion about what kids may ben­e­fit the most? or ben­e­fit “enough”?

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