Brain supplements that claim to boost cognitive function are increasingly popular, growing from a $4 billion industry of about 4,000 unique products to a $40 billion industry with as many as 80,000 different products on the market. [Read more…] about Study: Over-the-counter “brain enhancement” supplements in the US found both to a) contain multiple unapproved drugs and b) lack some ingredients listed on the label
Students and educators have started a new school year in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis, a reckoning with racial injustice, and a divisive political climate. Everyone’s mental health is at risk, and schools are searching for ways to support young people’s well-being in addition to their academic learning. [Read more…] about Study: A combined teaching + app gratitude program helps adolescents address anxiety and improve mental health
Yes (in perhaps 8% of individuals). Can mindfulness and meditation be harmful? (Science Focus):
Meditation has escaped both the religious cells of monks and nuns and the labs of scientists. An increasing number of people are using meditation apps to deal with mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Although there is no clear estimate of how many people are practising meditation, last year one single app had close to 40 million downloads. [Read more…] about Debate: Can mindfulness and meditation be harmful?
You might enjoy skiing or hiking. But do you feel at home in the mountains? Do you feel connected to the wilderness? According to a new study, that sense of being “home” in nature could be linked to your life satisfaction and personal growth, at least for young people. Another new study of older people finds that a connection to nature seems to make them happier and more willing to help others.
Stimulant medication treatment and behavior therapy are currently the two child ADHD treatments with the strongest research support. However, when parents begin treatment for their child, or when professionals are initiating treatment with a new client, there is no research to guide the decision of which approach to begin with.
Is it better to start with medication treatment and add behavior therapy if needed? Or, should behavior therapy come first with medication added if the child’s response is not sufficient? Or, is it always preferable to begin with combined treatment? [Read more…] about What should come first to treat ADHD in children, behavior therapy or stimulant medication?
Lifespan Cognitive Reserve—A Secret to Coping With Neurodegenerative Pathology (JAMA Neurology editorial):
Given the limited success of therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer disease, there is increased interest in understanding whether modifiable factors can help cope with or postpone the appearance of brain pathology. It is estimated that about 35% of Alzheimer risk is modifiable. Epidemiologic studies have shown that lifetime exposures to higher education, higher occupational attainment, and cognitively stimulating activities are associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer dementia. Autopsy studies have shown interindividual differences in the amount of brain pathology people can tolerate before manifesting cognitive impairments, and autopsied brains of about one-third of individuals who are cognitively normal meet neuropathological criteria for Alzheimer disease. [Read more…] about Study: High Cognitive Reserve (CR) seen to significantly lower dementia risk even in the presence of high Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) neuropathology