Update: Repetitive negative thinking may increase (or perhaps be caused by) Alzheimer’s pathology

Time for a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing this month 13 research find­ings, resources and brain teasers for life­long brain and men­tal health.

#1. “We found that peo­ple who exhib­it­ed high­er repet­i­tive neg­a­tive think­ing pat­terns expe­ri­enced more cog­ni­tive decline over a four-year peri­od. They also had spe­cif­ic declines in mem­o­ry (which is an ear­ly sign of Alzheimer’s dis­ease), and had more amy­loid and tau deposits in their brain … There’s increas­ing evi­dence that chron­ic stress is both harm­ful to your body – and your brain. But more research is need­ed to under­stand this link.” Repet­i­tive neg­a­tive think­ing may increase (or per­haps be caused by) cog­ni­tive decline and Alzheimer’s pathology

#2. “…even sim­ple cog­ni­tive process­es like mak­ing a shop­ping list now require more brain­pow­er. “Now, rather than think­ing, ‘I’ll just run to the store’, you’re think­ing about what you need, what stores are open and whether it’ll be safe to go there. Let’s say your brain can do four tasks at once. Now all of a sud­den there are 10, and you can’t do any of them” … reboot­ing your work­ing mem­o­ry may also mean cut­ting down on your news con­sump­tion and con­sid­er­ing a break from social media. But the most effec­tive thing to do might sim­ply be to con­vince your­self it’s OK to be strug­gling.” Why stress reg­u­la­tion and work­ing mem­o­ry are core build­ing blocks of life­long resilience

#3. Ten years from now, will we see DSM‑6 or Some­thing Much Bet­ter (SMB)-1? The way we approach Men­tal Health today is bro­ken beyond repair. The ques­tion is, what comes next, and how fast can we get there?

#4. Now, please draw the let­ter J in your mind. Then, draw the let­ter D. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and put it in top of the J. What does this shape resem­ble? Enjoy these three quick brain teasers to exer­cise your work­ing memory

#5. “Read­ing sci­ence fic­tion and fan­ta­sy can help read­ers make sense of the world. Rather than lim­it­ing read­ers’ capac­i­ty to deal with real­i­ty, expo­sure to out­side-the-box cre­ative sto­ries may expand their abil­i­ty to engage real­i­ty based on sci­ence … With increas­ing rates of anx­i­ety, depres­sion, and men­tal health issues for youth in the past two decades, it may be the case that young peo­ple, no dif­fer­ent from Amer­i­can soci­ety gen­er­al­ly, are suf­fer­ing from real­i­ty over­load.” — Esther L. Jones, Ph.D Read­ing sci­ence fic­tion can help chil­dren build crit­i­cal think­ing and resilience

#6. “For decades, use of biofeed­back to help suf­fer­ers of anx­i­ety, among oth­er psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tions, has large­ly been lim­it­ed to clin­i­cal set­tings with expensive—and some­what tedious—medical equip­ment. Now, with an assist from devel­op­ers of vir­tu­al-real­i­ty games, effec­tive ther­a­peu­tic biofeed­back is becom­ing more afford­able, acces­si­ble and engag­ing.” Vir­tu­al-real­i­ty gam­ing + afford­able biofeed­back = Anx­i­ety ther­a­py for all?

#7. Now comes the real chal­lenge: get­ting doc­tors to pre­scribe it, insur­ers to pay for it, kids to use it and hope­ful­ly see sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in dai­ly life. FDA clears first videogame to be pre­scribed to kids with ADHD: Endeav­or­Rx by Akili Inter­ac­tive Labs

#8. Hope you enjoy this overview by Dr. Ricar­do Gil-da-Cos­ta at Neu­ro­verse and our very own Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Explore The State of Non­in­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy in 37 min­utes and 1 image

#9. Here with neu­ro­sci­en­tist Mara Dierssen, in Span­ish: Cómo min­i­mizar el impacto del Covid-19 en nue­stro cerebro

#10. Ignor­ing prob­lems does­n’t typ­i­cal­ly solve them — good to see seri­ous attempts to under­stand, detect and address chemo brain. Grow­ing research shows how two of the major can­cer treat­ments, radi­a­tion and chemother­a­py, can lead to long-term cog­ni­tive impairment

#11. “… COVID-19 may lead to any­where from 27,644 to 154,037 addi­tion­al U.S. deaths of despair, as mass unem­ploy­ment, social iso­la­tion, depres­sion and anx­i­ety dri­ve increas­es in sui­cides and drug over­dos­es.” Time to reimag­ine brain & mind care: Four imme­di­ate pri­or­i­ties to flat­ten the men­tal dis­tress curve


Have a good and safe summer,

The Sharp­Brains Team

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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