“My heart sank as he floundered his way through his responses, fumbling with his notes, uncharacteristically lost for words. He looked tired and bewildered,” Ron Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, wrote of his father’s performance during the first 1984 presidential debate.
At the time, there had long been rumors that Reagan was suffering from cognitive impairment — perhaps Alzheimer’s Disease — and as he struggled during the first debate against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Walter Mondale, those concerns threatened his reelection campaign. He recovered during the second debate with a memorable quip, joking that he would not allow age to become an issue in the campaign because “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” The audience laughed, the nation moved on… and, a decade later, Reagan announced to the world that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s [Read more…] about Should heads of state and candidates to high office pass a cognitive/ mental fitness test?
Mindstrong scores $100M to monitor wellness via smartphone behaviors (MobiHealth News):
This morning digital mental health platform Mindstrong scored a whopping $100 million in Series C funding.
While Mindstrong has a history of solid funding rounds, this amount will more than double its total funding. In 2017 it got its first $14 million cash infusion. That was followed by a $15 million Series B funding round in June of 2018, which got a $31 million add-on in January of 2019, bringing the company’s total funding to just under $60 million before this news.
The company was first founded in 2014, but it made a splash in 2017 when former NIMH director Dr. Thomas Insel left his position at Verily to take on the role as president at Mindstrong. Insel is still involved in the company today in an advisory role…The technology also has a digital biomarker component. This can track a patient’s smartphone behaviors. While the startup will not see what a patient is doing on their phone, it can monitor how a patient taps, scrolls and types. It can look for indicators of stress, depression or other mental health factors.
You have been invited to a fundraising gala at your old college (via Zoom of course) and decide that this black-tie event demands a super white Italian shirt, like the one you bought years ago for your wedding.
When you find and bravely try the wedding shirt on (size 16), your wife notices that the collar suffocates you — you DO need about 1/4″ more space everywhere in-between your neck and the collar all around your neck.
So you’ll need a new shirt.
What size shirt do you need to buy? [Read more…] about Brain Teaser: What shirt size you need?
Kaiser Permanente is trying to give its 12.4 million members a little bit of calm.
Starting Tuesday, the health-care provider is allowing patients to download the Calm meditation app for free as part of a way to help customers manage anxiety as they deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Calm is the most-popular health and fitness app on Google-powered devices and No. 2 on the iPhone, according to App Annie. Paid subscriptions normally cost $70 a year … Calm was seeing surging growth even before the coronavirus forced Americans to shelter in place and led to skyrocketing unemployment. The San Francisco-based start-up was valued by investors last year at $1 billion, two years after being named Apple’s app of the year back in 2017. The app has been downloaded over 80 million times.
With nationwide school closures in effect, many parents are now monitoring homeschooling while at the same time trying to make a living in the midst of an economic crisis. In this environment of broken routine and uncertainty, chances are your child is showing big feelings and challenging behaviors.
In my work as a school psychologist, I’ve been hearing from parents that despite their best efforts, their children are struggling with meeting homeschool expectations. Kids who [Read more…] about Three Ss to reduce the stress of “homeschooling” our kids: Simplify, Structure, Support
– Hat tip to Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
Mark Rosenzweig’s classic 1996 paper on neuroplasticity:
Psychobiology of plasticity: effects of training and experience on brain and behavior (Behavioural Brain Research):
Abstract: Supporting Hebb’s 1949 hypothesis of use-induced plasticity of the nervous system, our group found in the 1960s that training or differential experience induced neurochemical changes in cerebral cortex of the rat and regional changes in weight of cortex. Further studies revealed changes in cortical thickness [Read more…] about A limerick a day hopefully keeps the neurologist away