Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Dr. Michael Merzenich: To harness Neuroplasticity for cognitive enhancement, we need to think “Fitness” more than “Games”

KavliPrize-Neuro(Editor’s Note: In order to help readers familiarize themselves with the work and thinking of Dr. Michael Merzenich, one of the winners of the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for groundbreaking work on neuroplasticity, we are condensing and republishing the comprehensive conversation that Dr. Merzenich and Alvaro Fernandez had in 2009, in preparation for the inaugural SharpBrains Virtual Summit.)

Dr. Michael Merzenich, Emeritus Professor at UCSF, is a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. In the late 1980s, Dr. Merzenich was on the team that invented the cochlear implant. In 1996, he was the founding CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation, and in 2004 became co-founder and Read the rest of this entry »

Since more than 50% of people worldwide can’t access appropriate mental health treatments, let’s welcome (and test) mobile health apps

mobilehealthMental Health: There’s an App for That (Nature):

“Type ‘depression’ into the Apple App Store and a list of at least a hundred programs will pop up on the screen. There are apps that diagnose depression (Depression Test), track moods (Optimism) and help people to “think more positive” Read the rest of this entry »

Q: What do people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety have in common? A: A brain with similar gray-matter loss

graymatter_comparison

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Different mental disorders cause same brain-matter loss, study finds (press release):

“A meta-analysis of 193 brain-imaging studies shows similar gray-matter loss in the brains of people with diagnoses as different as schizophrenia, depression and addiction…The findings call into question a longstanding tendency to distinguish psychiatric disorders chiefly by their symptoms rather than their underlying brain pathology. Read the rest of this entry »

Why “disorders of the brain” deserve at least equal attention as cardiovascular diseases and cancer

brain-femaleprofileG20 World Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Initiative Partners with EU Human Brain Project (DD&D):

“According to the World Health Organization’s large-scale studies, about a third of the adult worldwide population suffer from a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. If also taken together with neurological disorders, such as dementia and stroke, these “disorders of the brain” account for Read the rest of this entry »

Study: For cognitive training to work, it must induce neuroplasticity in brain regions that matter

connectomeOver the last several years, cognitive training has received large amounts of public interest and support because reliably improving cognitive performance would have wide reaching applications in clinical populations, older adults, and the public at large. For example, cognitive training could Read the rest of this entry »

BrainTech: Six Take-aways on Neuroplasticity and Cognitive training

braintechIsrael’s first international BrainTech conference took place this week, on October 14 and 15th. It was organized by Israel Brain Technologies (IBT), a non-profit organization whose mission is to position Israel as a global brain technology and research center. The conference included talks representing multiple stakeholders in the neurotechnology sector worldwide – patients, clinicians, academic leaders, public officials, entrepreneurs and industry executives. An important session in the conference was the BrainBlitz – a roundtable session where different brain technology topics were discussed in smaller interest groups.

Our table, devoted to Neuroplasticity and Cognitive training, Read the rest of this entry »

Time to revamp psychiatry and mental health in light of modern neuroscience?

mentalhealthpuzzleTransforming Diagnosis (article by Thomas Insel, Director of the NIMH): “In a few weeks, the American Psychiatric Association will release its new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)…While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating Read the rest of this entry »

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