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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Enabling deep, focused transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Key neurotechnology patent #34

magnetic stimulation

– Illustrative image from U.S. Patent No. 7,520,848

Today we are sharing a key 2009 patent, assigned to Stanford University, that enables the stimulation of deeper structures of the brain without overwhelming superficial structures that are not the focus of treatment. (As mentioned, we are featuring a foundational Pervasive Neurotech patent a day, from older to newer by issue date)

U.S. Patent No. 7,520,848: Robotic apparatus for targeting and producing deep, focused transcranial magnetic stimulation

  • Assignee(s): Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
  • Inventor(s): M. Bret Schneider, David J. Mishelevich
  • Technology Category: Transcranial Stimulation
  • Issue Date: April 21, 2009

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘848 patent discloses techniques for stimulating deeper structures of the brain without overwhelming superficial structures that are not the focus of treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

Improving brain stimulation’s efficacy and efficiency: Key neurotechnology patent #32

neural stimulation efficiency

– Illustrative image from U.S. Patent No. 7,483,747

Today we highlight a key brain stimulation patent assigned to Advanced Neuromodulation Systems. (As mentioned, we are featuring a foundational Pervasive Neurotech patent a day, from older to newer by issue date)

U.S. Patent No. 7,483,747: Systems and methods for enhancing or affecting neural stimulation efficiency and/or efficacy.

  • Assignee(s): Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc.
  • Inventor(s): Bradford Evan Gliner, Allen Wyler, Brad Fowler, W. Douglas Sheffield, Richard Kuntz, Kent Leyde, Leif R. Sloan
  • Technology Category: Transcranial Stimulation
  • Issue Date: January 27, 2009

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘747 patent discloses methods for improving efficacy and efficiency of brain stimulation by providing two distinct phases of electromagnetic stimulation that vary from one another in parameters such as time of stimulation, amplitude of signal, location of treatment, frequency of pulse, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Facilitating clinical treatments via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): Key Neurotechnology Patent #21

magnetic stimulation

– Illustrative image from U.S. Patent No. 6,926,660

Today we are sharing a key 2005 patent assigned to Neuronetics, Inc. (As mentioned, we are featuring a foundational Pervasive Neurotech patent a day, from older to newer by issue date)

U.S. Patent No. 6,926,660: Facilitating treatment via magnetic stimulation.

  • Assignee(s): Neuronetics, Inc.
  • Inventor(s): Stanford W. Miller
  • Technology Category: Transcranial Stimulation
  • Issue Date: August 9, 2005

SharpBrains’ Take:

TMS treatments procedures are more effective and efficient if targeted stimulation to the patient can be quickly and easily repeated, rather than blindly hunting for the correct location and orientation after initial dosing/ testing procedures conducted to determine the appropriate stimulation field strength and location. Read the rest of this entry »

Managing information flow based on user’s mental state and cognitive load: Key Neurotech Patent #19

control presentation

– Illustrative image from U.S. Patent No. 6,874,127

This is another fascinating 2005 patent assigned to Microsoft, helping manage the presentation of information based on user’s mental and physical state and cognitive load (and, yes, desired level of privacy).

U.S. Patent No. 6,874,127: Method and system for controlling presentation of information to a user based on the user’s condition.

  • Assignee(s): Microsoft Corporation
  • Inventor(s): Dan Newell, Kenneth H. Abbott
  • Technology Category: Hybrid
  • Issue Date: March 29, 2005

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘127 patent applies brain technology to information management with user models that consider cognitive load and mental state in order to determine how and what information is presented to the user. Read the rest of this entry »

Study debunks 4 common myths about brain training and lifelong cognitive enhancement

If the media is your main source of information about brain training and cognitive enhancement, you will probably believe the following:

1) All brain training is the same…

2) …and it simply doesn’t work.

3) Commercial brain training programs, especially, don’t work.

4) How could they work? Genetics is destiny, aging is a predetermined process…so by age 60 or 70 or 80, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

If you tracked and analyzed the scientific literature around cognitive training, cognitive therapies, biofeedback, meditation, brain reserve and neuroplasticity in general, you’d know those 4 beliefs are wrong. They are myths that prevent a more nuanced conversation about brain-enhancing lifestyles and about the emerging brain training and neurotechnology toolkit.

Good news is, a just-published study should help debunk those myths–especially with regards to computerized cognitive training–and provide a better Read the rest of this entry »

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