Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Upcoming neurogaming conference in San Francisco

NeuroGamingQuick heads-up: Early-bird reg­is­tra­tion to the first Neu­rogam­ing con­fer­ence expires on April 1st, 2013. Check out the agenda now and see if you want to join a great ros­ter of indus­try speak­ers. I’ll be run­ning this ses­sion on May 1st:

Think, Think, Think: Cog­ni­tive Gam­ing Plat­forms. This panel will dis­cuss how break­through tech­nolo­gies like tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion, ultra­sonic brain stim­u­la­tion, eye track­ing, and Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Health centers adding cognitive coaching services

Brain Health Cen­ter expands ser­vices (San Fran­cisco Chronicle):

…Now, the ser­vices the med­ical team pro­vides will be expanded at the new Brain Health Cen­ter, which opened last month at CPMC’s Davies cam­pus in San Fran­cisco. The cen­ter, made pos­si­ble by an anony­mous $21 mil­lion dona­tion that estab­lished an endow­ment, offers Read the rest of this entry »

Invitation for SharpBrains Summit Participants to Comment on Meeting Report and Join Council

Over 50 insight­ful and fun mem­bers of the world­wide Sharp­Brains com­mu­nity had the oppor­tu­nity to gather in DC, New York and San Fran­cisco last month in order to meet in per­son –often for the first time!- and to dis­cuss next steps to drive mean­ing­ful inno­va­tion in the brain health and fit­ness space.

It is our plea­sure to invite Sharp­Brains Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants to con­tribute to, and to learn from, this grow­ing net­work, by ask­ing them to please: Read the rest of this entry »

Intel Corporation and Lumos Labs Become Gold Sponsors of 2011 SharpBrains Summit

We are pleased to make eleven impor­tant announce­ments about the upcom­ing 2011 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit…eleven addi­tional rea­sons to con­sider reg­is­ter­ing and join­ing our event and com­mu­nity next week.

  1. Intel Cor­po­ra­tion, the “Spon­sors of Tomor­row™”, and Lumos Labs have become Sum­mit Gold Sponsors.
  2. Sharp­Brains will issue a Cer­tifi­cate of Atten­dance to par­tic­i­pants (20 hours of con­tin­u­ing education).
  3. Jamie Wil­son shares 20 rea­sons why vir­tual con­fer­ences are the future.
  4. NIH/ NIA Pro­gram Chief Molly Wag­ster will dis­cuss the new NIH Tool­box for Assess­ment of Neu­ro­log­i­cal and Behav­ioral Function.
  5. Yaakov Stern (Colum­bia), David Darby (CogState), Keith Wesnes (United BioSource) and Jef­frey Kaye (Orcat­ech) will explore The Role of Cog­ni­tive Health Mon­i­tor­ing Systems.
  6. Alvaro Fer­nan­dez (Sharp­Brains) and Muki Hansteen-Izora (Intel Cor­po­ra­tion) will ana­lyze The State of Inno­va­tion and Emerg­ing Marketplace.
  7. You can still Reg­is­ter and obtain a com­pli­men­tary copy of Sharp­Brains’ mar­ket report The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2010 (which includes mar­ket data, ven­dor analy­sis, inno­va­tion case stud­ies, research briefs, and more.)
  8. Michael Merzenich (UCSF), Alvaro Pascual-Leone (Har­vard), Wal­ter Green­leaf (Vir­tu­ally­Bet­ter) and Kate Sul­li­van (Wal­ter Reed) will dis­cuss how Inno­va­tion gets From Lab to Marketplace.
  9. Lumos Labs, Brain Resource, Cogmed, Bay­crest, Cog­niFit, and Posit Sci­ence will present their lat­est tools and solu­tions dur­ing Expo Day.
  10. A total of 19 excel­lent Sum­mit Part­ners help us expand Summit’s reach and influence.
  11. We are plan­ning April/ May social gath­er­ings for Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants in 5 cities: San Fran­cisco, Los Ange­les, Wash­ing­ton DC, NYC, and Toronto, and will help facil­i­tate gath­er­ings in any city/ region with at least 10 Sum­mit participants.

Please visit the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit web­site to Learn More and Reg­is­ter.

Also, please fol­low us via Twit­ter and spread the word about the Sum­mit using hash­tag #svs11

We look for­ward to “meet­ing” many of you next week! Please remem­ber you can enter dis­count code sharp2011 in order to get 15% off reg­is­tra­tion fees.

UCSF study looks for Bay Area participants

We often hear inter­est from peo­ple of all ages in being par­tic­i­pants in the cog­ni­tive research we are doing in our UCSF lab. How­ever, all of our exper­i­ments to date have been focused on under 20 year olds and the over 60 age group, and many peo­ple fall in between. Well, we have just launched our first exper­i­ment aimed at explor­ing the impact of dis­trac­tion and mul­ti­task­ing on per­for­mance across the lifes­pan, with a large enough num­ber of par­tic­i­pants to allow for gen­der com­par­isons. So, we are reach­ing to peo­ple of all ages with the oppor­tu­nity to be par­tic­i­pate in this cool new experiment.

This is a behav­ioral study using a video game that we cre­ated and devel­oped to eval­u­ate these skills. It sets the stage for both a brain train­ing and brain record­ing exper­i­ment to fol­low. Tak­ing part requires an approx­i­mately two-hour study at our lab at the UCSF Mis­sion Bay cam­pus (mul­ti­ple days/times avail­able for the test­ing). We are look­ing for right handed indi­vid­u­als that are not col­or­blind, and not on any med­ica­tion for a neurological/psychiatric dis­or­der. Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s Disease: is our Healthcare System Ready?

In the midst of much health­care reform talk, not Alzheimer's Disease reportenough atten­tion seems focused on ensur­ing health­care sys­tems’ pre­pared­ness to deal with cog­ni­tive health issues –with Alzheimer’s Dis­ease as the most dra­matic exam­ple– which are pre­dicted to grow given aging pop­u­la­tion trends.

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and the USA Today com­ments on a new report that makes stark pre­dic­tions:
Global Alzheimer’s cases expected to rise sharply (USA Today)

- “The 2009 World Alzheimer’s Report, released today, esti­mates 35 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide are liv­ing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of demen­tia. The fig­ure is a 10% increase over 2005 numbers.”

- “The num­ber of peo­ple affected by Alzheimer’s is grow­ing at a rapid rate, and the increas­ing per­sonal costs will have sig­nif­i­cant impact on the world’s economies and health care sys­tems,” said Harry Johns, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion. “We must make the fight against Alzheimer’s a pri­or­ity here in the United States and world­wide,” he said.

- “The report by London-based non­profit Alzheimer’s Dis­ease Inter­na­tional (ADI), an inter­na­tional fed­er­a­tion of 71 national Alzheimer orga­ni­za­tions (includ­ing the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion), indi­cates that the num­ber of peo­ple with demen­tia is expected to grow sharply to 65.7 mil­lion in 2030 and 115.4 mil­lion in 2050.”

Link to report: Here

The Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion is orga­niz­ing mul­ti­ple Mem­ory Walks to raise aware­ness and funds. You can learn more and join Here. (Per­haps a good oppor­tu­nity to orga­nize a “walk­ing book group” as Arthur Kramer sug­gested in the Sharp­Brains Guide?)

The City of San Fran­cisco, led by its Depart­ment of Aging and Adult Ser­vices (DAAS), con­vened since san francisco2008 an Alzheimer’s/ Demen­tia Expert Panel to iden­tify gaps and issue rec­om­men­da­tions to address the grow­ing cri­sis in demen­tia care at the city level, and is about to release a pio­neer­ing plan that may well influ­ence pub­lic health ini­tia­tives in other cities and states. An interim doc­u­ment can be found here: 2020 Foresight-Strategy For Excel­lence in Demen­tia Care (pdf)

One of the major areas of focus for that strat­egy was Edu­ca­tion & Pre­ven­tion, and below we can share a sum­mary of the pre­lim­i­nary find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions. We will high­light the final report when ready.




The subcommittee’s charge was to con­sider how best to edu­cate the San Fran­cisco com­mu­nity about Alzheimer’s and related demen­tias to change atti­tudes, beliefs, behav­iors, stan­dards of prac­tice, and out­comes asso­ci­ated with the disease.

Spe­cific top­ics addressed include:
· Pro­tec­tive fac­tors relat­ing to demen­tia, includ­ing risk fac­tors and brain health
· Early iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of demen­tia
· Early access to ser­vices
· Com­mu­nity edu­ca­tion
· Edu­ca­tion of pro­fes­sion­als and non­pro­fes­sion­als, includ­ing physi­cians, psy­chi­a­trists and psy­chol­o­gists, social work­ers, nurses, and other care­givers, both paid care­givers and infor­mal care­givers such as fam­ily and friends
· Eth­i­cal issues
· Pol­icy issues

The dis­sem­i­na­tion of accu­rate infor­ma­tion about Alzheimer’s and related demen­tias can play an impor­tant role in Read the rest of this entry »

Reminder: ASA Brain Health Day in Oakland, CA

We have two excel­lent new speak­ers, Anne Hin­ton and Steve DeMello, to add to the excel­lent ros­ter dur­ing the ASA Brain Health Day to take place on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2009, at the Oak­land Mar­riott City Center.

Anne Hinton San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult ServicesAnne Hin­ton is Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the San Fran­cisco Depart­ment of Aging and Adult Ser­vices. In this capac­ity she has respon­si­bil­ity for In-Home Sup­port­ive Ser­vices, Adult Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices, Pub­lic Guardian, Pub­lic Con­ser­va­tor, Pub­lic Admin­is­tra­tor, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Payee, Vet­er­ans Ser­vices, Infor­ma­tion and Refer­ral, and the Part­ner­ship for Com­mu­nity Based Care and Sup­port. In addi­tion the Depart­ment funds 45 com­mu­nity ser­vice providers for pro­grams such as con­gre­gate meals, senior cen­ters, home deliv­ered meals, case man­age­ment, fam­ily care­giv­ing, etc.

Her career spans more than 25 years includ­ing posi­tions as the Direc­tor of Home Care, Care Man­age­ment and Fidu­ciary Ser­vices Depart­ment for the Insti­tute on Aging, the Direc­tor of Aging Ser­vices for San Fran­cisco Catholic Char­i­ties and Direc­tor of the South San Fran­cisco Senior Ser­vices. Ms. Hin­ton has expe­ri­ence as a lecturer/teacher in the field of Gerontology.

Steven DeMello Public Health InstituteSteven DeMello has over 30 years of expe­ri­ence in research, hos­pi­tal oper­a­tions, strate­gic plan­ning, sys­tems man­age­ment and con­sult­ing. He is cur­rently a Research Pro­gram Direc­tor at the Pub­lic Health Insti­tute. His most recent posi­tion wass as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and Senior Advi­sor of the Health Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter (HealthTech), a non-profit research group and expert net­work based in San Fran­cisco. Prior to HealthTech he served as chief oper­at­ing offi­cer of ezboard, Inc. a large first-generation con­sumer social net­work­ing com­pany. His pre­vi­ous posi­tions include serv­ing as Senior Vice Pres­i­dent Cal­i­for­nia Health­care Sys­tem, Pres­i­dent and COO of Alliance Home Care Man­age­ment, Inc., and Prin­ci­pal at the global man­age­ment con­sult­ing firm A.T. Kear­ney. He received a BA in Eco­nom­ics from Clare­mont McKenna Col­lege, and an MBA from the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago.

Reg­is­tra­tion fees are still $150, but will increase to $190 by August 29th. More infor­ma­tion at ASA Brain Health Day. If you are plan­ning to attend…hurry!

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