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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Challenge: How to spur meaningful, targeted & safe adoption of emerging neurotechnologies

neuroelectrics_capA cap that treats depression? Check the science before getting excited (The Guardian):

“Yesterday, an article in the Entrepreneurs section of the Guardian purported to reveal a “cloth cap that could help treat depression”. This claim has caused some alarm in the neuroscience and mental health fields, so it’s important to look a little more closely at what the manufacturers are actually claiming. Read the rest of this entry »

Report: Revolutions in neurotechnology will soon influence every aspect of human life

Trends in Neurotechnology August 2015Center for Neurotechnology Studies Announces Release of Trends in Neurotechnology August 2015 (Potomac Institute for Policy Studies):

“Revolutions in neurotechnology will soon influence every aspect of human life. Neurotechnology can be used to further understand the natural processes of the brain, study and treat neurological disorders and injuries, and enhance neural capabilities, resulting in increased human intelligence and efficiency. Outside of the realm of health, it can be used in social contexts to improve overall quality of life.”

To learn more:

Rethinking Alzheimer’s research, beyond amyloid deposition, via new funding models

Alzheimer_Word_cloud_conceptHow a new approach to funding Alzheimer’s research could pay off (MIT News):

“More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the affliction that erodes memory and other mental capacities, but no drugs targeting the disease have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2003…Lo and three co-authors propose Read the rest of this entry »

Accelerating brain health research via online registries

InternetSan Francisco-based online ‘brain registry’ seeks volunteers to transform research (San Jose Mercury News):

“By volunteering — repeatedly over time — participants join a pool of research subjects in the new Brain Health Registry, opened Tuesday, for studies on brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other neurological ailments. Read the rest of this entry »

Stress and the Brain: To Fight, Flee or Freeze -That is the Question

(Editor’s note: below you have the final part of the 6-part Stress and the Brain series. If you are joining the series now, you can read the previous parts via the links below.)

Stayin’ Alive

Understanding the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

TO FIGHT, FLEE, OR FREEZE — THAT IS THE QUESTION

With a better understanding of the neurobiology of stress, the LD – ADHD – stress connection becomes clear.  Students with learning disabilities or ADHD, confronted with the stress created by exposure to tasks that are in reality or in their perception too difficult (and thus threatening), exhibit the protective behavior of any organism under extreme stress:  They fight, they flee, or they freeze. When these kids don’t understand why they can’t do what other kids can do (master the stressor), and they can’t see any way to get out of a situation that won’t go away, they begin to shut down. Read the rest of this entry »

The Neurobiology of Stress: The Human Brain Likes to Be in Balance

(Editor’s note: below you have part 5 of the 6-part The Neurobiology of Stress series. If you are joining the series now, you can read the previous part Here.)

Stayin’ Alive

Understanding the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

The Human Brain Likes to Be in Balance

Fortunately, the brain has some built – in safety systems. Too much cortisol in the blood signals the brain and adrenal glands to decrease cortisol production. And under normal conditions, when the stress is overcome or brought under control (by fighting, fleeing, or turning into an immobile statue, or by mastering the threat), the hypothalamus starts sending out the orders to stand down. Stop producing cortisol!  Event over!  Under continuous stress, however, this feedback system breaks down. The hypothalamus keeps reading the stress as a threat, furtively sending messages to the pituitary gland, which screams out to the adrenal glands to keep pumping out cortisol, which at this point begins to be neurotoxic — poison to the brain. Read the rest of this entry »

The Neurobiology of Stress: The Stress Response Explained

(Editor’s note: below you have part 4 of the 6-part The Neurobiology of Stress series. If you are joining the series now, you can read the previous part Here.)

Stayin’  Alive

Understanding the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress

THE STRESS RESPONSE EXPLAINED

Stress was put on the map, so to speak, by a Hungarian – born Canadian endocrinologist named Hans Hugo Bruno Selye (ZEL – yeh) in 1950, when he presented his research on rats at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. To explain the impact of stress, Selye proposed something he called the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), which he said had three components. According to Selye, when an organism experiences some novel or threatening stimulus it responds with an alarm reaction. This is followed by what Selye referred to as the recovery or resistance stage, a period of time during which the brain repairs itself and stores the energy it will need to deal with the next stressful event.

Read the rest of this entry »

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