Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Study: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps treat depression–especially among women–but benefits are declining steadily



Researchers have found that CBT is roughly half as effective in treating depression as it used to be (The Guardian):

“Everybody loves cognitive behavioural therapy. It’s the no-nonsense, quick and relatively cheap approach to mental suffering…So it was unsettling to learn, from a paper in the journal Psychological Bulletin, that it seems to be getting less effective over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) as depression treatment: much promise, some DIY risks

For people with severe depression, incorrect application can worsen their condition or cause memory loss. Nathan O'Nions/Flickr, CC BY-NC

—For people with severe depression, incorrect application can worsen their condition or cause memory loss. Nathan O’Nions/Flickr, CC BY-NC

Around 350 million people worldwide have depression. Antidepressant medications are often prescribed to treat the condition, alongside talking therapies and lifestyle changes such as regular exercise.

But a substantial proportion of people either don’t respond to antidepressants, or experience such significant side effects that they’d prefer not to take them.

In search of Read the rest of this entry »

Training our brains’ executive control to reduce rumination and improve mood

happybrainIsraeli computer ‘game’ teaches brain to be happier (Haaretz):

“There are people who think dwelling on their emotions is helpful, viewing it as a kind of wrestling match with their inner demons. But according to psychologists, it’s 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 »

Encephalon: Briefing the Next US President on Neuroscience & Psychology

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US President,

We are glad to welcome you to our blog carnival. After a short hiatus, Encephalon is backScience Debate 2008 and gathering steam. We have prepared this “revival” edition just for you, so you can be well informed and impress us all during the upcoming Sciencedebate 2008.

Without further ado, let’s proceed to the questions posed by 24 bloggers on neuroscience and psychology issues. We hope they provide, at the very least, good mental stimulation for you and your advisors.

Big Questions

Do I deserve to vote even if I don’t have Free Will? (Marc at Neuroscientifically Challenged).

If culture sculpts our brains, what can our brains do to refine our culture first? (Stephanie at Brains On Purpose).

Is God more than a flying brain? (Jessica at bioephemera).

Is Your brain really reading This? (Pete at Brain Hammer).

A Few Intrusive Questions

Do you play any musical instrument? (Megan at SharpBrains).

Read the rest of this entry »

Closing the Circuit: Helen Mayberg’s research could revolutionize depression treatment

Blue, DepressionNot a day goes by without a significant depression-related announcement. Yesterday, one could read that Older Women More Likely to Suffer Depression (than Older Men; in the Washington Post). Today, we see that St. Jude Starting Trial On Brain Stimulation For Depression (CNN). A few days ago, Blue Cross of California Launched Maternity Depression Program (press release).

Time to step back and ask ourselves questions such as, “What is going On”, “What is Depression”, “What Treatments Work, and What is the Latest Research”. Fortunately, thanks to our collaboration with Greater Good Magazine, Jill Suttie offers a fascinating answers to those questions-and more. Enjoy.


Closing the Circuit

Helen Mayberg’s research could revolutionize depression treatment.

— By Jill Suttie.

At some point in their lives, 5 to 12 percent of American men and 10-25 percent of women will suffer an episode of depression, making it the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder today. Unlike normal sadness, which passes with time, depression feels unstoppable and causes people to lose interest in nearly all activities. Because it affects a person’s ability to eat, sleep, work, and function normally, it exacts a huge cost on the economy, estimated at $30 billion dollars annually. The cost in human suffering cannot be measured.

Millions of people diagnosed with depression turn to medication as a treatment, and many of the most popular Read the rest of this entry »

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