Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Corporate Wellness Programs start to include Brain Health

Brain-fit­ness games join work­place, as well as senior cen­ter, arse­nals (Mar­ket­Watch)

- “Con­sumers and retire­ment homes have made brain-fit­ness games and exer­cis­es a com­mer­cial hit, but now some insur­ers and employ­ers are incor­po­rat­ing them into well­ness pro­grams that pro­mote health not just for the body but also for the mind.”

- “Improv­ing brain health can result in less pre­sen­teeism, the ten­den­cy to be at work but be dis­tract­ed and not able to focus,” he added. “If you look at dis­abil­i­ty costs, absen­teeism and pre­sen­teeism account for most of the med­ical costs, and that’s a good rea­son for employ­ers to be focused on brain health.” (accord­ing to Dr. Eugene Bak­er, vice pres­i­dent at OptumHealth’s Behav­ioral Solu­tions divi­sion)”

The arti­cle reviews inno­v­a­tive prac­tices at OptumHealth, Nation­wide Auto Insur­ance Com­pa­ny, Humana, Penn Treaty Amer­i­can Corp, All­state, and the US Army. I am glad to see the media start to notice the impor­tance of cog­ni­tive assess­ments and the grow­ing activ­i­ty by insur­ers.

Stan­ford Issues Find­ings from Cog­ni­tive and Brain Experts Urg­ing Con­sumer Cau­tion on Mem­o­ry Fit­ness Prod­ucts (press release)

- “Fear of mem­o­ry loss, men­tal impair­ment and Alzheimer’s dis­ease lead many con­sumers to search for prod­ucts — from sup­ple­ments to soft­ware — that claim to ward off such ail­ments,” Lau­ra L. Carstensen, found­ing direc­tor of the Stan­ford Cen­ter on Longevi­ty, said. “Such prod­ucts are becom­ing more pro­lif­ic, but this bur­geon­ing indus­try is com­plete­ly unreg­u­lat­ed and the claims can range from rea­son­able though untest­ed, to bla­tant­ly false. It is impor­tant for con­sumers to pro­ceed with cau­tion before buy­ing into many of these prod­uct claims. There is no mag­ic bul­let solu­tion for cog­ni­tive decline.”

- The Sum­mit’s (Note: held in April 2008) state­ment points out that “it would be wrong to con­clude that noth­ing can be done to improve men­tal fit­ness.” But goes on to “strong­ly encour­age research that com­pares the effi­ca­cy and the cost-effec­tive­ness of dif­fer­ent approach­es to main­tain­ing cog­ni­tive fit­ness.”

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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