Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


New Summit Speaker: David Nill, Chief Medical Officer at Cerner

DavidNillWe’re proud to announce a new and excel­lent speak­er at the upcom­ing 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Sep­tem­ber 19-20th), to dis­cuss an ambi­tious ongo­ing ini­tia­tive to embed brain health solu­tions into cor­po­rate wellness.

Dr. David Nill, Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief Med­ical Offi­cer at Cerner Cor­po­ra­tion, is respon­si­ble for inno­va­tion of clin­i­cal aspects of health and care ser­vices for Healthe , an ini­tia­tive aimed at increas­ing the resilience and well­be­ing for Cerner asso­ciates. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Predictions on How Digital Platforms will Transform Brain Health in 2013

Just a quick note: we’ll host a webi­nar on Jan­u­ary 30th to dis­cuss key mar­ket pre­dic­tions based on “The Dig­i­tal Brain Health Mar­ket 2012–2020: Web-based, mobile and biometrics-based tech­nol­ogy to assess, mon­i­tor and enhance cog­ni­tion and brain func­tion­ing”, our new mar­ket report.

Here are 10 pre­dic­tions, many of which will likely be real­ized before the end of 2013: Read the rest of this entry »

Nationwide Insurance’s Kath­leen Herath on Brain-Based Corporate Wellness Initiatives

Kath­leen will run an edu­ca­tional work­shop on How Nation­wide Insur­ance rolled-out a Brain-based Cor­po­rate Well­ness Ini­tia­tive. An in-depth case study out­lin­ing busi­ness ratio­nale, ven­dor selec­tion, pilot test and roll-out, and return-on-investment, at the upcom­ing 2012 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (June 7-14th, 2012).

Kath­leen Herath is the Asso­ciate Vice Pres­i­dent Health & Pro­duc­tiv­ity at Nation­wide Insur­ance. Kath­leen Herath, RN, BSN CRRN, over­sees the Health and Pro­duc­tiv­ity strat­egy Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Training Trends — Putting our Cognitive Reserve to Work

Yes­ter­day I had the chance to chat with Yaakov Stern, lead­ing Cog­ni­tive Reserve researcher at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity, and then with a group of 25 life­long learn­ers in Ari­zona who attended a brain fit­ness class (hello, Robert and friends!) based on our con­sumer guide The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. On reflec­tion, I found both con­ver­sa­tions to be very stim­u­lat­ing for the same rea­son: they were forward-looking, focused not so much on sta­tus quo but on how emerg­ing research, tech­nol­ogy and trends may impact our soci­ety and lives in years to come. Let’s con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion. Let me share the 10 main trends that we analyzed/ fore­casted in our book, and then ask you, sharp read­ers, to add your own 2 cents to the dis­cus­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

FAQ about SharpBrains Council for Brain Fitness Innovation

We have received many good ques­tions about the new Sharp­Brains Coun­cil for Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion — below you have some answers.

Ques­tion: We are based in Asia/ Australia/ Europe. Will time dif­fer­ences pre­vent us from par­tic­i­pat­ing in monthly brief­ings and ben­e­fit­ing from the Council?

Answer: We will do our best to facil­i­tate a truly global com­mu­nity and exchange. Please con­sider that…

  1. we will sched­ule monthly brief­ings at 2 sep­a­rate times, one at 9am US Pacific Time, the other at 4pm US Pacific Time, both cov­er­ing the same topic (but per­haps with dif­fer­ent guest speak­ers). And brief­ings will be recorded.
  2. most activ­i­ties and resources are asyn­chro­nous any­way. Our mar­ket intel­li­gence reports and other mate­ri­als are avail­able via this members-only online com­mu­nity 24/7, same as online dis­cus­sion forums, focused groups to track/ dis­cuss spe­cific top­ics, the abil­ity to ask ques­tions to and con­nect with other members…

Ques­tion: Will some­thing change regard­ing blog and monthly newslet­ter, which are great free resources?

Answer: We plan to  main­tain those free resources, focus­ing on con­tent of a gen­eral inter­est for every­one with a brain. The Council’s pur­pose is to cre­ate a new valu­able in-depth resource and com­mu­nity for pro­fes­sion­als and orga­ni­za­tions active with brain fit­ness ini­tia­tives, so we can all learn and share dur­ing the year, and help the field mature. That will include Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Is Grey the New Gold?

Here you have the June edi­tion of our monthly newslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive health and Brain Fitnessbrain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

The full sched­ule of the Sharp­Brains’ pow­ered Cog­ni­tive Health Track at the Games for Health Con­fer­ence, June 11-12th in Boston, is now avail­able online. 13 ses­sions will fea­ture 18 inno­va­tors and thought-leaders rep­re­sent­ing devel­op­ers, uni­ver­si­ties, clin­i­cians, con­sumers, insur­ance com­pa­nies, and more. You can learn more and reg­is­ter.

Longevity Div­i­dend

Ever heard of the Longevity Div­i­dend? Per­haps Grey is the New Gold: The Kro­nos Longevity Research Insti­tute has released a new report sum­ma­riz­ing the state of aging research that includes an excel­lent intro­duc­tion into the Longevity Div­i­dend, a “the­ory that says we hope to inter­vene sci­en­tif­i­cally to slow the aging process, which will also delay the onset of age-related dis­eases. Delay­ing aging just seven years would slash rates of con­di­tions like can­cer, dia­betes, Alzheimer’s dis­ease and heart dis­ease in half.” With that con­text in mind, is the National Insti­tute on Aging get­ting its fair bud­get share?


Visual Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the State of the Mar­ket 2009: Paul Van Slem­brouck sum­ma­rizes and beau­ti­fully presents the main find­ings of our 150-page mar­ket report, The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2009. Enjoy this excel­lent graphic.

Book Club Dis­cus­sion Guide: The goal of our just pub­lished book, The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, is to inform you, but also to open a much needed debate to con­tribute to our col­lec­tive brain fit­ness. We encour­age book clubs to read and dis­cuss the book, and sug­gest 10 ques­tions to kick­start the con­ver­sa­tion. Please do send us your answers and impressions!

Edu­ca­tion & Learning

10% Stu­dents may have work­ing mem­ory prob­lems: Why does this mat­ter?: A recent study screened over 3,000 school-aged stu­dents in schools in the UK and found that 1 in 10 was iden­ti­fied as hav­ing work­ing mem­ory dif­fi­cul­ties. Work­ing mem­ory is our abil­ity to store and manip­u­late infor­ma­tion for a brief time, and dif­fi­cul­ties in this brain func­tion may lead into dif­fi­cul­ties in read­ing and math­e­mat­ics. Dr. Tracy Alloway reviews the study and elaborates.

Brain Sci­en­tists Iden­tify Links between Arts & Learn­ing: Nicky Pen­tilla com­ments on a recent report spon­sored by the Dana Foun­da­tion and a related Learn­ing, Arts, and the Brain Sum­mit. “Arts edu­ca­tion influ­ences learn­ing and other areas of cog­ni­tion and may deserve a more promi­nent place in schools.” Of par­tic­u­lar note is the find­ing that showed sig­nif­i­cant brain plas­tic­ity as a result of instru­men­tal music instruc­tion are repeated practice.

8 Tips To Remem­ber What You Read: Despite tele­vi­sion, cell phones, and  twit­ter, tra­di­tional read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Dr. Bill Klemm offers some tips to read with good speed and com­pre­hen­sion: Read with a pur­pose, Skim first, Get the read­ing mechan­ics right, Be judi­cious in high­light­ing and note tak­ing, Think in pic­tures, Rehearse as you go along, Stay within your atten­tion span and work to increase your atten­tion span, Practice.


Cor­po­rate Well­ness, Cog­ni­tive Assess­ments and Mem­ory Fit­ness Pro­grams: a great Mar­ket­Watch arti­cle pro­vides an overview of how major insur­ers and large employ­ers are start­ing to add brain health to their cor­po­rate well­ness activ­i­ties.  The Stan­ford Longevity Cen­ter released a state­ment urg­ing con­sumers who buy a range of mem­ory prod­ucts to make informed deci­sions (we released the book above pre­cisely with that goal in mind).

Have a stim­u­lat­ing month of June!

Corporate Wellness Programs start to include Brain Health

Brain-fitness games join work­place, as well as senior cen­ter, arse­nals (MarketWatch)

- “Con­sumers and retire­ment homes have made brain-fitness games and exer­cises a com­mer­cial hit, but now some insur­ers and employ­ers are incor­po­rat­ing them into well­ness pro­grams that pro­mote health not just for the body but also for the mind.”

- “Improv­ing brain health can result in less pre­sen­teeism, the ten­dency to be at work but be dis­tracted and not able to focus,” he added. “If you look at dis­abil­ity costs, absen­teeism and pre­sen­teeism account for most of the med­ical costs, and that’s a good rea­son for employ­ers to be focused on brain health.” (accord­ing to Dr. Eugene Baker, vice pres­i­dent at OptumHealth’s Behav­ioral Solu­tions division)”

The arti­cle reviews inno­v­a­tive prac­tices at OptumHealth, Nation­wide Auto Insur­ance Com­pany, Humana, Penn Treaty Amer­i­can Corp, All­state, and the US Army. I am glad to see the media start to notice the impor­tance of cog­ni­tive assess­ments and the grow­ing activ­ity by insur­ers. Read the rest of this entry »


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