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Trend: Consumers spend significantly more on digital brain health and neurotechnology apps

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Peo­ple spent $1.9 bil­lion last year on apps to keep their brains sharp as they age — here’s what actu­al­ly works (Mar­ket­Watch):

With an aging pop­u­la­tion wor­ried about cog­ni­tive decline and demen­tia, such train­ing pro­grams have seen a burst in pop­u­lar­i­ty in recent years. Con­sumers spent an esti­mat­ed $1.9 bil­lion on dig­i­tal brain health and neu­rotech­nol­o­gy apps in 2018, a four­fold increase from $475 mil­lion in 2012, accord­ing to glob­al data from Sharp­Brains, an inde­pen­dent mar­ket-research firm.

But despite the ris­ing inter­est in cog­ni­tive train­ing, evi­dence of its ben­e­fits is still a mixed bag, experts say.

There will be one study that shows a ben­e­fit, but then there will be anoth­er study that fails to show a ben­e­fit,” says Dan Press, a neu­rol­o­gist and direc­tor of the cog­ni­tive-neu­rol­o­gy unit at Beth Israel Dea­coness Med­ical Cen­ter in Boston who helps run the Brain Fit Club, a brain-train­ing pro­gram at Beth Israel that incor­po­rates activ­i­ties such as tai-chi and yoga as well as nutri­tion edu­ca­tion … That’s why it’s impor­tant to focus on what recent research says does work. For exam­ple, there is some evi­dence that a so-called mul­ti­pronged approach — a com­bi­na­tion of brain train­ing, healthy diet, exer­cise and vas­cu­lar mon­i­tor­ing — can improve or main­tain cog­ni­tive func­tion.”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Technology

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