Aug 14, 2008 Comments Off on Update: The Challenges of Gerontology
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Here you have the twice-a-month newsletter with our most popular blog posts. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, simply by submitting your email at the top of this page.
First, I am pleased to report that have been invited to participate in a new initiative by the World Economic Forum. Described as “In a global environment marked by short-term orientation and silo-thinking, Global Agenda Councils will foster interdisciplinary and long-range thinking to address the prevailing challenges on the global agenda”, my specific Council will focus on the Challenges of Gerontology. More information on the Global Agenda Councils here. Will keep you updated via this blog.
In the News
Yes, It is Smart to Learn New Tricks: a recent Washington Post article presents a good overview of brain health trends, but framed around a highly artificial choice for consumers: either you a) do physical exercise, or b) take part in social interactions, or c) engage in mental exercise. What about switching off those TVs and having time for all a, b, c, and more?
Mind Games: the August issue of Venture Capital Journal brings a very good piece on the emerging brain fitness software category (subscription required), which we enhance by providing a quick overview of the field.
CogniFit raises USD 5 million: if 2007 was the year of brain fitness media coverage, 2008 seems to be the year of serious investments. This CogniFit round follows other recent venture investments: Dakim ($10.6m), Lumos Labs ($3m). We hear all these companies are devoting part of these resources to fund clinical trials…never too late.
Brain Science and Lifelong Learning
Schools as Brain Training Hubs?: in a recent post we asked for suggestions to refine our predictions for the 2007–2015 period. A good number of readers contributed, and the winner of this informal contest is… Scott Spears, retired public schools superintendent, for his thoughts on the future implications of cognitive research on schooling.
Neurogenesis and Brain Plasticity in Adult Brains: while “adults may have a tendency to get set in their ways I’ve been doing it this way for a long time and it works, so why change?”, change itself is an excellent practice for healthy brain aging, as Laurie Bartels explains.
A Farewell to Dementia?: a fascinating recent editorial in Archives of Neurology, titled Dementia: A Word to be Forgotten, calls for more constructive terminology. Dr. Joshua Steinerman weighs in.
Other Thought-Provoking Articles
To Think or to Blink?: should Hamlet be living with us now and reading bestsellers, he might be wondering: To Blink or not to Blink? To Think or not to Think? We are pleased to present an article by Madeleine Van Hecke, offering the “on the other hand” to Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink argument.
The impact of web 2.0 on healthcare: we hosted Medicine 2.0, a bi-weekly collection of articles that analyze the current and potential impact of web 2.0 technologies on medicine and healthcare.
Brain Teasers: Spot the Difference: how many differences can you spot (and how many cognitive functions can you engage with this simple exercise?)
I hope you are having a great August!