Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Google gets serious about brain & mental health innovation and hires NIMH Director Tom Insel



NIH Director’s State­ment Regard­ing Dr. Thomas Insel’s Depar­ture:

After serv­ing 13 years as Direc­tor for the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH), Thomas R. Insel, M.D., will step down effec­tive Novem­ber 1, 2015…he is def­i­nite­ly not retir­ing. He is plan­ning to join the Google Life Sci­ences (GLS) team at Alpha­bet (for­mer­ly Google) to lead a new effort that will focus on men­tal health…In his new role, Tom will be explor­ing this approach for a wide spec­trum of issues in men­tal health. While we con­duct a nation­al search for a new NIMH Direc­tor, Bruce Cuth­bert, Ph.D., will serve as Act­ing Direc­tor. Bruce has held a num­ber of lead­er­ship posi­tions at the NIMH, serv­ing as the Direc­tor of the Divi­sion of Adult Trans­la­tion­al Research from 2009 to 2014, and until recent­ly devot­ing his efforts full time to the Institute’s RDoC effort…Please give Bruce your full sup­port, and join me in con­grat­u­lat­ing Tom on his extra­or­di­nary time at the NIH, thank­ing him for all he’s done, and wish­ing him the very best in this next stage of his career.”


–> To learn more about Dr. Insel’s views for the future, you can view his pre­sen­ta­tion below, and also read his most recent blog arti­cle, Look who is get­ting into men­tal health research:

My sum­mer tour of tech com­pa­nies, large and small, left me with one unex­pect­ed con­clu­sion. While the focus of wear­able tech­nol­o­gy and online apps has thus far most­ly been for man­ag­ing heart dis­ease and dia­betes, the tech approach may be best suit­ed for men­tal health. The bio­mark­ers for depres­sion and psy­chosis and post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der are like­ly to be objec­tive mea­sures of cog­ni­tion and behav­ior, which can be col­lect­ed by smart­phones. Some of our most effec­tive inter­ven­tions are psy­choso­cial treat­ments that can be deliv­ered or extend­ed by smart­phones and tablets. Most impor­tant, the sen­sors and the inter­ven­tions can be inte­grat­ed into a closed loop so that care is con­tin­u­ous and iter­a­tive. Increas­ing symp­toms, sui­ci­dal impuls­es, and para­noid thoughts lead imme­di­ate­ly to an inter­ven­tion. Pop­u­la­tion-based stud­ies have shown that less than half of peo­ple with men­tal ill­ness seek care. And work­force stud­ies have shown that 55 per­cent of coun­ties have no men­tal health care provider. Tech­nol­o­gy is not the answer to all prob­lems, but it may help those with men­tal ill­ness even more than those with oth­er chron­ic, seri­ous med­ical con­di­tions.


–> To learn more about Dr. Cuth­bert’s views for the future:


–> To learn more about what’s next, join the upcom­ing 2015 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Mon­i­tor­ing & Enhanc­ing Brain Health in the Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Era (Novem­ber 17–19th, 2015)

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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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