A new study found promising results for a combined physical fitness and cognitive intervention designed to enhance neuroplasticity in older adults. Using a motion-capture video game, the intervention appeared to remediate age-related declines in attention. The findings were published in the journal npj Aging. [Read more…] about Study: A combined cognitive-physical training approach may enhance both mind and body as we age
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people suffered extreme stress. People couldn’t work and faced financial anxiety, they felt lonely and isolated, they worried about catching a deadly disease or giving it to someone they loved, and their mental health suffered.
For researcher Erin Fekete, of the University of Indianapolis, the unfolding pandemic was an opportunity to answer a longstanding question about the best way to cope in moments of suffering. Do we get more relief by reflecting on our thoughts and feelings about what we’re going through, or from turning our minds to the positive things in our lives? [Read more…] about Thanksgiving works: Gratitude journaling seen to lower stress and negative cognitive processes
The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling dramatically from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says.
Nationwide, the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia fell to 8.5% of people over age 65 in 2016, down by nearly one-third from 12.2% of people over age 65 in 2000, according to the researchers. [Read more…] about Study finds sharp decrease (nearly one-third) in the prevalence of dementia among those 65+ in the United States
Alto Neuroscience, a Los Altos, CA-based neuro-tech company which specializes in precision psychiatry, raises $35M Series B Financing … The company intends to use the funds to advance lead candidates into Phase 2b studies in major depressive disorder … Proceeds from the financing will also be used to progress the company’s artificial intelligence-enabled brain biomarker platform and launch new clinical trials in areas of high unmet medical need. Alto will report Phase 2a data in early 2023 and further anticipates Phase 2b data readouts by early 2024. [Read more…] about Precision psychiatry pioneer Alto Neuroscience raises $35M to advance digital biomarker-to-treatment platform
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring timely brain & innovation news and a few fun teasers to test your working memory.
“Teasing out exactly how muscle helps the brain remains a challenge. There are plenty of indirect links … But Dr. Chevalier’s results suggest there may be more direct mechanisms too. One possibility is the role of myokines, a set of hormone-like molecules produced by muscle cells that can travel to the brain and influence mood, learning and other cognitive functions. Greater muscle mass may also help keep blood glucose levels in check, protecting the brain from damage.”
“More than half of the app ratings showed disagreement between participants and professionals … Participants particularly valued certain aspects of mental health apps, which appear to be overlooked by professional reviewers. These included functions such as the ability to track and measure mental health and providing general mental health education. The cost of apps was among the most important factors for participants.”
“… individual characteristics influenced the outcome of combined cognitive training and tDCS regimens, with the intervention selectively benefiting old-old adults with lower working memory capacity. Future work should consider developing individualized treatments by considering individual differences in cognitive profiles.”
“I fundamentally believe in the power of mindfulness and meditation tools, but they can’t serve all mental health needs. And particularly when someone’s in a state of acute anxiety, acute depression, they need access to professional, human services…We are building out what I often call the middle piece, the bridge that exists between the self-serve content in the Headspace app and the text-based coaching, teletherapy and telepsychiatry of the Ginger service.”
“The implication here is that you should let your gratitude out when you feel it … That’s not to say that you should go around and make up gratitude expressions for no reason. But, when you genuinely feel gratitude, you should express it.” — Christopher Oveis, Director of the Empathy & Emotion Lab at UCSD
“My vision for DANA has always been that every time you go to the doctor, in addition to taking your height, weight, blood pressure, and temperature, they will take your DANA brain vital. When measuring your brain health becomes second nature—as common as checking your blood pressure—it will empower everyone, no matter their age, to spot changes sooner and take action.” — Cori Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix, in her great new book.
Timely and important work to be done by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
#8. Last but not least, let us share a few quick brain teasers to exercise your working memory … enjoy!
Wishing you and yours a healthy and warm month of November
Giving memory a lift: Can games and brain stimulation do it? (MedicalNewsToday):
A person’s working memory may decline with age or if they have dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or have had a stroke. When this occurs, the loss can affect their day-to-day quality of life, turning even simple tasks into often-demoralizing challenges. [Read more…] about Combined tDCS neurostimulation and cognitive training found to improve working memory among older adults–especially those with lower starting capacity