Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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 lumosity.com).

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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