Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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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