Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

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 »