Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The New York Times starts to pay attention: Exercising The Mind to Treat Attention Deficits

mind_childExer­cis­ing The Mind to Treat Atten­tion Deficits (The New York Times):

Poor plan­ning, wan­der­ing atten­tion and trou­ble inhibit­ing impulses all sig­nify lapses in cog­ni­tive con­trol. Now a grow­ing stream of research sug­gests that strength­en­ing this men­tal mus­cle, usu­ally with exer­cises in Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming Webinar: The Digital Brain Health & Training Market in 2014

Webinar digital brain health & trainingWhen: Thurs­day, March 13, 2014 from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

Join this upcom­ing webi­nar, to be held dur­ing Brain Aware­ness Week 2014, to dis­cuss the lat­est mar­ket data and news in the dig­i­tal brain health and brain train­ing space, includ­ing Rosetta Stone’s acqui­si­tion of Viv­ity Labs (devel­oper of Fit Brains mobile cog­ni­tive games), Bayer’s global part­ner­ship with Cog­niFit Read the rest of this entry »

Update: A Fresh Look at Enhancing Brain & Mental Health Across the Lifespan

kid brainTime for Sharp­Brains’ May 2013 e-newsletter, which fea­tures a vari­ety of arti­cles offer­ing a more opti­mistic and evidence-based approach to brain and men­tal health than cur­rent practices.

First of all, let us high­light that Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can just pub­lished an excel­lent review of our new book. The author sums it up by say­ing that “…I wish I had read this awe­some guide when I was much younger…I find the emerg­ing field of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity immensely excit­ing, and guides like this one are both hope­ful and rea­son­able.” As a reader points out, the word “awe­some” does not appear often in science-oriented publications…so we are espe­cially proud to see the book merit such treatment.

New think­ing:

New sci­ence:

New tools:

That’s it for now. Have a stim­u­lat­ing June!

Challenging medical dogma: Mental exercise vs drugs, supplements and physical exercise to prevent cognitive decline

Brain ThinkerMen­tal exer­cises may pre­vent men­tal decline in seniors (CBC News):  “A review released by the Cana­dian Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion Jour­nal on the pre­ven­tion of cog­ni­tive decline said that med­i­c­i­nal and non-medicinal prod­ucts, and phys­i­cal exer­cise did noth­ing to pre­vent the decline in healthy seniors, but men­tal exer­cises Read the rest of this entry »

Drugs for Early-Stage Alzheimer’s?

Medical-warning-label-concept--42312982Drugs for Early-Stage Alzheimer’s (good New York Times editorial):

The Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion has pro­posed low­er­ing the bar for approv­ing drugs to treat peo­ple at the ear­li­est stages of Alzheimer’s dis­ease, before they have devel­oped any seri­ous impair­ment or overt demen­tia. The goal is com­mend­able — to find ways to pre­vent or slow the pro­gres­sion of this ter­ri­ble dis­ease before it can rob peo­ple of their men­tal capac­i­ties. But the pro­posal raises trou­bling ques­tions as to whether the agency would end up approv­ing drugs that pro­vide lit­tle or no clin­i­cal ben­e­fit yet Read the rest of this entry »

Neurologists prescribing cognitive enhancement drugs to healthy kids and adults?

Human-brain-pillsAccord­ing to a new posi­tion state­ment by the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Neu­rol­ogy (AAN), pre­scrib­ing cog­ni­tive enhance­ment, “attention-boosting,” drugs to healthy chil­dren is mis­guided and not jus­ti­fi­able. Inter­est­ingly, a 2009 posi­tion state­ment by AAN still in force today stated that doing so with adult “patients” is both legal and eth­i­cal (includ­ing the remark that “Neu­rol­o­gists who pre­scribe med­ica­tions for the off-label use of neu­roen­hance­ment are act­ing law­fully,” with­out really chal­leng­ing whether the drugs have been proven to be a) effec­tive and b) safe in that con­text). Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s Disease population to triple: We need smarter research, public health initiatives and lifestyles

Human brainAccord­ing to a new study, the pop­u­la­tion with Alzheimer’s Dis­ease in the US will triple by 2050: from 4.7 mil­lions in 2010 to 13.8 mil­lions. This empha­sizes the urgent need for more research to find pre­ven­tive mea­sures, and for more enlight­ened pub­lic health ini­tia­tives and indi­vid­ual lifestyles designed to decrease demen­tia risks and delay onset of symptoms.

Between 1993 and 2011, researchers fol­lowed more than 10,000 indi­vid­u­als 65 and older. Par­tic­i­pants were inter­viewed and assessed for demen­tia every three years. Read the rest of this entry »

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