Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Study: Are neuromarkers on the cusp of transforming education and mental health?


Brain Scans May Help Pre­dict Future Prob­lems, And Solu­tions (NPR):

Brain scans may soon be able to help pre­dict a per­son­’s future — some aspects of it, any­way.

Infor­ma­tion from these scans increas­ing­ly is able to sug­gest whether a child will have trou­ble with math, say, or whether some­one with men­tal ill­ness is going to respond to a par­tic­u­lar treat­ment, accord­ing to a review of dozens of stud­ies pub­lished Wednes­day in the jour­nal Neu­ron.

The review found “grow­ing evi­dence that brain mea­sures can pre­dict future out­comes or behav­iors,” says John Gabrieli, a brain sci­en­tist at MIT and the review’s lead author. And the results are often “bet­ter than cur­rent­ly avail­able tests or clin­i­cal mea­sures,” he says.

The find­ing sug­gests that edu­ca­tors and men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als could soon have new tools to help them decide how to assist a strug­gling stu­dent or patient…predictive brain scans are not ready for use in the gen­er­al pub­lic, says Gabrieli. “We’re not with­in a year of using any of these,” he says. “But we might be with­in some­thing like five years.””

Study: Pre­dic­tion as a Human­i­tar­i­an and Prag­mat­ic Con­tri­bu­tion from Human Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science (Neu­ron)

  • From the abstract: Neu­roimag­ing has great­ly enhanced the cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science under­stand­ing of the human brain and its vari­a­tion across indi­vid­u­als (neu­ro­di­ver­si­ty) in both health and dis­ease. Such progress has not yet, how­ev­er, pro­pelled changes in edu­ca­tion­al or med­ical prac­tices that improve people’s lives. We review neu­roimag­ing find­ings in which ini­tial brain mea­sures (neu­ro­mark­ers) are cor­re­lat­ed with or pre­dict future edu­ca­tion, learn­ing, and per­for­mance in chil­dren and adults; crim­i­nal­i­ty; health-relat­ed behav­iors; and respons­es to phar­ma­co­log­i­cal or behav­ioral treat­ments. Neu­ro­mark­ers often pro­vide bet­ter pre­dic­tions (neu­ro­prog­no­sis), alone or in com­bi­na­tion with oth­er mea­sures, than tra­di­tion­al behav­ioral mea­sures. With fur­ther advances in study designs and analy­ses, neu­ro­mark­ers may offer oppor­tu­ni­ties to per­son­al­ize edu­ca­tion­al and clin­i­cal prac­tices that lead to bet­ter out­comes for peo­ple.

–>To learn more about the future of brain health and men­tal health, check out this pre­sen­ta­tion deliv­ered by Dr. Thomas Insel, Direc­tor of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health, at the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit.

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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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