Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


For college students, mental health screening kiosks offer ‘Check-Up from the Neck Up’

kiosk mental health


A ‘Check-Up from the Neck Up’ — Men­tal Health Screen­ing Kiosks at Drexel (Drexel Now):

Dur­ing their time in col­lege, most stu­dents learn the impor­tance of look­ing out for their own health.

How­ever, some miss the con­nec­tion that their men­tal well-being is just as impor­tant as keep­ing a reg­u­lar exer­cise reg­i­men or eat­ing the right diet Read the rest of this entry »

General Chiarelli: “We have a totally dysfunctional research system (for brain and mental health)”

Peter Chiarelli

Gen­eral Chiarelli’s Brain Cru­sade (Politico):

Soon after Peter Chiarelli became vice chief of staff of the Army in 2008, a sub­or­di­nate showed him a bar graph depict­ing the num­ber of sol­diers deter­mined by the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs to be at least 30 per­cent dis­abled. The tallest col­umn was on the far left. 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 »

PTSD: Can we Disrupt the Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories?

8% of Amer­i­cans suf­fer from PTSD and this rate increases up to 15% as far as vet­er­ans are con­cerned. PTSD or Post Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der is a type of anx­i­ety dis­or­der that occurs after see­ing or expe­ri­enc­ing a trau­matic event. Peo­ple with PTSD have per­sis­tent fright­en­ing thoughts and mem­o­ries of the event. They may expe­ri­ence sleep prob­lems, feel detached or numb, or be eas­ily startled.

This arti­cle from the Dana Foun­da­tion asks a very inter­est­ing question:

Can we dis­rupt the recon­sol­i­da­tion of trau­matic mem­o­ries that con­tribute to PTSD and bring relief to patients suf­fer­ing from this disorder?

This com­plete and stim­u­lat­ing read tells us how mem­o­ries are formed and con­sol­i­dated. The authors dis­cuss the dif­fer­ent tech­niques used or under research that can help PTSD patients. Since avail­able ther­a­pies have suc­cess rates of only 60%, this is a press­ing topic these days. The eth­i­cal ques­tion of whether it is okay to look for solu­tions to erase mem­o­ries is also raised.

Related arti­cle: Can Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion Enhance Cog­ni­tive Rehab?

Ten Reflections on Cognitive Health and Assessments

Let me sum­ma­rize ten high­lights and reflec­tions from stim­u­lat­ing dis­cus­sions on cog­ni­tive health and assess­ments I have had this month so far.

Jan­u­ary 8-9th: Sym­po­sium on Co-Adaptive Learn­ing: Adap­tive Tech­nol­ogy for the Aging (details Here), orga­nized by the Ari­zona State University’s Cen­ter for Adap­tive Neural Systems:

1. Cog­ni­tive health is a crit­i­cal fac­tor in over­all health­care, but is often approached in a frag­mented, non-systematic way. Most speak­ers in the sym­po­sium did men­tion how cog­ni­tive health issues inter­act with their spe­cific areas of focus (aging, Parkinson’s Dis­ease, trau­matic brain injury, Alzheimer’s…) but there was a lack of a com­mon frame­work and tax­on­omy to define the prob­lem and iden­tify solu­tions and inter­ven­tions to mea­sure and help main­tain cog­ni­tive health across the lifespan.

2. For exam­ple, Parkinson’s Dis­ease. Did you know (I didn’t) that a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of Parkinson’s patients have well-identified cog­ni­tive impair­ments, mostly in their exec­u­tive func­tions but also per­cep­tual problems?

3. We truly need a Cul­ture of Cog­ni­tive Health, as Ran­dal Koene pointed out.

4. May online cog­ni­tive games serve as ongo­ing, real-time assess­ment of cog­ni­tive func­tion? Misha Pavel thought so. He also added we may well see “cog­ni­tive exer­cise coaches” some­time in the horizon.

5. Skip Rizzo pre­sented how vir­tual real­ity can help address Post Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der (PTSD) and even to admin­is­ter inno­v­a­tive cog­ni­tive assessments.

6. My pre­sen­ta­tion, titled The Emerg­ing Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness Mar­ket: Sta­tus, Trends and Chal­lenges, is avail­able Here

7. Jan­u­ary 22nd: Con­sumer Reports orga­nized a health sum­mit titled Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Computer-assisted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Wall Street Jour­nal had a very inter­est­ing arti­cle yes­ter­day, titled To Be Young and Anxiety-Free, focused on the value of cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­apy to help chil­dren with high lev­els of anx­i­ety learn how too cope bet­ter and pre­vent the snow­ball sce­nario, when that anx­i­ety grows and spi­rals out of con­trol result­ing in depres­sion and similar

- “…new research show­ing that treat­ing kids for anx­i­ety when they are young may help pre­vent the devel­op­ment of more seri­ous men­tal ill­nesses, includ­ing depres­sion and more debil­i­tat­ing anx­i­ety disorders.”

- “Of course, most kids have fears with­out hav­ing a full-blown anx­i­ety dis­or­der. And some anx­i­ety is healthy: It makes sense, for exam­ple, to be a lit­tle ner­vous before a big test. Doc­tors and psy­chol­o­gists do cau­tion that the increased focus on child­hood anx­i­ety could lead to an over­diag­no­sis of the prob­lem. What makes anx­i­ety a true ill­ness is when it inter­feres with nor­mal func­tion­ing or causes seri­ous emo­tional and phys­i­cal distress.”

- “But the use of anti­de­pres­sants in chil­dren has come under fire because Read the rest of this entry »

Mindfulness and Meditation in Schools: Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools

Mind­ful Kids, Peace­ful Schools

With eyes closed and deep breaths, stu­dents are learn­ing a new method to reduce anx­i­ety, con­flict, and atten­tion dis­or­ders. But don’t call it meditation.

— By Jill Suttie

At Toluca Lake ele­men­tary school in Los Ange­les, a cyclone fence encloses the asphalt black­top, which is teem­ing with kids. It’s recess time and the kids, who are mostly mindfulness exercises for teenagersLatino, are play­ing tag, yelling, throw­ing balls, and jump­ing rope. When the bell rings, they reluc­tantly stop and head back to their class­rooms except for Daniel Murphy’s sec­ond grade class.

Murphy’s stu­dents file into the school audi­to­rium, each car­ry­ing a round blue pil­low dec­o­rated with white stars. They enter gig­gling and chat­ting, but soon they are seated in a cir­cle on their cush­ions, eyes closed, quiet and con­cen­trat­ing. Two teach­ers give the chil­dren instruc­tions on how to pay atten­tion to their breath­ing, telling them to notice the rise and fall of their bel­lies and chests, the pas­sage of air in and out of their noses. Though the room is chilly the heat­ing sys­tem broke down ear­lier that day the chil­dren appear com­fort­able, many with Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome to

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN,, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and wellness applications of brain science.

FIRST-TIME VISITOR? Discover HERE the most popular resources at

New market report on Pervasive Neurotechnology & Intellectual Property

Haven’t you read this book yet?

Newsletter Signup

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:
Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.

Follow Us…


Subscribe RSS Feed

Subscribe to the RSS Feed