Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Out: crossword puzzles. In: digital cognitive assessments and training

brain_mindDo brain games work? (The Boston Globe):

There’s intense interest?—?and the poten­tial for big money?—?in the world of brain games. Lumosity…claims 60 mil­lion users…The mar­ket for Lumos­i­ty and com­peti­tors like Cogmed and Posit Sci­ence is grow­ing 25 per­cent a year, accord­ing to Sharp­Brains, a neu­ro-well­ness research firm. Sharp­Brains pegged 2013 spend­ing on brain fit­ness hard­ware and software?—?not includ­ing paper-based prod­ucts or in-per­son classes?—?at $1.3 bil­lion world­wide. It expects to see that fig­ure rise to $6 bil­lion by 2020.

The big spenders are, no sur­prise, baby boomers, the youngest of whom are hit­ting 50 this year. They account for about half of the mar­ket. Spend­ing on brain train­ing for kids accounts for anoth­er 20 percent…Perhaps in antic­i­pa­tion of the wave of boomers, the Cen­ters for Medicare & Med­ic­aid Ser­vices recent­ly began accept­ing com­ments on a pro­pos­al that could lead to reim­burse­ments for some costs asso­ci­at­ed with brain games.

We live in an age where advances in pub­lic health and med­i­cine have extend­ed the length and qual­i­ty of our lives, but “brain health hasn’t kept up with the pace,” says Dr. Alvaro Pas­cual-Leone, a pro­fes­sor at Har­vard Med­ical School who cofound­ed the Brain Fit Club with Wong in 2012.

One chal­lenge for brain train­ing is that we lack basic base lines, brain equiv­a­lents for a body mass index. Wong starts her patients with a 90-minute cog­ni­tive assess­ment, as well as anoth­er 45 min­utes or so to mea­sure gait and bal­ance. These two-plus hours are used to devel­op a pro­file for each patient and cus­tomize a plan of men­tal and phys­i­cal exer­cis­es.”

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Categories: Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

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About SharpBrains

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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