Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Akili raises an additional $11.9M; brings Amgen, Merck, Pfizer and Shire to the digital medicine table


Akili Adds Amgen Ventures and M Ventures* to Series B Financing, Increasing Round to $42.4 Million (press release):

“Akili Interactive Labs, Inc. (“Akili”), a digital medicine company developing novel, non-pharmacological therapeutics and diagnostics for cognitive disorders, today announced an $11.9 million expansion of its recent Series B financing. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Harnessing a virtual reality brain training game to diagnose mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

virtual supermarket.

Virtual reality brain training game can detect mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often predates Alzheimer’s disease (press release):

“Geek researchers demonstrated the potential of a virtual supermarket cognitive training game as a screening tool for patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among a sample of older adults…

In an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the researchers Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Internet-based screening can help detect aging-related cognitive deficits


We just came across a new and fas­ci­nat­ing sci­en­tific paper, titled Development and evaluation of a self-administered on-line test of memory and attention for middle-aged and older adults, and published at Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Here is the very readable abstract:

“There is a need for rapid and reliable Internet-based screening tools for cognitive assessment in middle-aged and older adults. We report the psychometric properties of an on-line tool designed to screen for cognitive deficits that Read the rest of this entry »

Does Brain Training Work? Depends. Better Question is, How, When, for Whom Can Brain Training Work?

brain training question and answersYou may have read a new wave of articles claiming that “brain training doesn’t work”, based on the recent research meta-analytic review Is Working Memory Training Effective? (Developmental Psychology, May 2012), whose abstract says:

“It has been suggested that working memory training programs are effective both as treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other cognitive disorders in children and as a tool to improve cognitive ability and scholastic attainment in typically developing children and adults… Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Cognitive Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

We just came across a new scientific study on the value and limitations of cognitive training in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), based on a program of cognitive exercises provided by Lumos Labs (developers of

Study: Computerised Cognitive Training for Older Persons With Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study Using a Randomised Controlled Trial Design (Brain Impairment): Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Failure and Brain Fitness: A Farewell to Dementia?

A dreaded diagnosis, that dimmed and dooming dilemma. Feared, sometimes fought, too often forgotten. It is the grayest, ghastliest elephant in the room: dementia.

What is dementia? I, like many others who dedicate their professional efforts to its study and treatment, have no good answer. I believe we are lost in our lexicon, trying to define a brain state so vexing and elusive it drives us out of our minds.

I hope we can do better, and I am not alone. In a sensitive and forward-looking editorial entitled Dementia: A Word to be Forgotten, Drs. Trachtenberg and Trojanowski of the University of Pennsylvania argue that alternate terms are more appropriate for research, clinical, and everyday settings. From scientific and biological perspectives, dementia is unspecific and subjective. Within the walls of the physician’s office, delivering the diagnosis of dementia can erect unintended walls around patients and families; vulnerable individuals, assuming that the “cruel connotations in the lay language” actually apply to them, are unnecessarily isolated. Read the rest of this entry »

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