Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Cognitive Health and Training News

Brain Health NewsSev­er­al recent news (includ­ing video of our recent pan­el dis­cus­sion):

1) Study Finds Improved Cog­ni­tive Health among Old­er Amer­i­cans (Jour­nal of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion)

- “Soci­etal invest­ment in build­ing and main­tain­ing cog­ni­tive reserve through for­mal edu­ca­tion in child­hood and con­tin­ued cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion dur­ing work and leisure in adult­hood may help lim­it the bur­den of demen­tia among the grow­ing num­ber of old­er adults world­wide”.

- “Cog­ni­tive impair­ment dropped from 12.2 per­cent in 1993 to 8.7 per­cent in 2002 among peo­ple 70 and older.“ 

- “Edu­ca­tion and finan­cial sta­tus appeared over­all to pro­tect against devel­op­ing cog­ni­tive impair­ment.”

- “Fur­ther, they sug­gest­ed, the results sup­port the notion of cog­ni­tive reserve, which hypoth­e­sizes that the brains of more edu­cat­ed peo­ple may be bet­ter able to sus­tain greater dam­age from Alzheimer’s dis­ease or oth­er pathol­o­gy before clin­i­cal signs of impair­ment appear.”

- Link to full study: here.

2)  Our Brain Fit­ness Pan­el a few weeks ago touched on impli­ca­tions of the cog­ni­tive reserve.

- The video of the entire 1.5 hour pan­el is now avail­able.

- This post fea­tured the main high­lights.

3) Dakim ® , Inc. Secures $10.6 Mil­lion Series C Fund­ing Led by Galen Part­ners. Dan Michel, CEO of Dakim, is one of the pan­elists you can watch in the pan­el mentioned above

- “an inno­va­tor in brain fit­ness tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions, today announced the com­ple­tion of a $10.6 mil­lion Series C financ­ing. The round was led by Galen Part­ners, a lead­ing pri­vate equi­ty firm spe­cial­iz­ing in health­care investing…Mr. Jahns said, “Dakim has devel­oped an inno­v­a­tive, afford­able and prac­ti­cal solu­tion to assist the rapid­ly aging pop­u­la­tion main­tain their brain health and fight Alzheimer’s dis­ease.”

Com­ment: fas­ci­nat­ing to see such a large round-which makes sense giv­en demo­graph­ic trends in this emerg­ing field. But, still, it is a sig­nif­i­cant bet. Hope­ful­ly part of those resources will be devot­ed to research behind the spe­cif­ic impact of the Dakim cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tion.

4) Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Reports 2007 Results: a com­pa­ny that offers cog­ni­tive train­ing to K12 stu­dents

- “a lead­ing provider of brain fit­ness solu­tions for the edu­ca­tion market…Revenue for the year totaled $46.1 mil­lion, an increase of 12% com­pared to $41.0 mil­lion for the year end­ed Decem­ber 31, 2006.” and “We expand­ed our address­able mar­ket through the acqui­si­tion of the Read­ing Assis­tant which moves us clos­er to the main­stream mar­ket.”

Com­ment: a very inter­est­ing trade-off here. On the one hand, Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing has great research and clin­i­cal evi­dence for spe­cif­ic groups of kids with spe­cif­ic pri­or­i­ties. Kids with audi­to­ry pro­cess­ing as main bot­tle­neck may see clear improve­ments after their inten­sive inter­ven­tion. Oth­er kids may also ben­e­fit, but unclear at what point lies the bal­ance between clin­i­cal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and the time & invest­ment required. Com­pa­nies obvi­ous­ly want to grow and increase “address­able mar­kets”. The ques­tion is, how can schools best make the deci­sion about what kids may ben­e­fit the most? or ben­e­fit “enough”?

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.