Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating findings, books and resources for lifelong brain health.
#1. “The human brain (section; left image above) functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe (section simulation; right image) can count upon a cosmic web of at least 100 billion galaxies. Within both systems, only 30% of their masses are composed of galaxies and neurons. Within both systems, galaxies and neurons arrange themselves in long filaments or nodes between the filaments. Finally, within both systems, 70% of the distribution of mass or energy is composed of components playing an apparently passive role: water in the brain and dark energy in the observable Universe.” Understanding Brain Health via Cosmological Health, and vice versa
#2. One very smart and generous brain to brighten your day: Indian teacher Ranjitsinh Disale wins annual $1M Global Teacher Prize; shares half with 9 finalists
#3. “Of all the qualities parents can cultivate in their children, hope and optimism are the most precious. We can nurture hope and optimism in our kids by demonstrating that we always have some control over our environment and ourselves. The future isn’t a tide that’s going to crush us, it’s a wave we’re a part of.” — Madeline Levine, author of Ready or Not. Three favorite 2020 books on parenting and mental health
#4. A superb memoir on becoming a psychotherapy pioneer and bestselling writer: Becoming Myself, by Irvin D. Yalom
#5. This survey of 2500 families about what ADHD treatments seem to work/ not work finds that 49% of parents report Exercise to be ‘Extremely or Very Effective;’ above any other treatment.
#6. On the dangers of “productizing” lifestyle guidelines that help build brain reserve and delay cognitive problems; Buyer beware: The story of a pricey and “credentialled” program to end Alzheimer’s Disease
#7. Now, given that “In a new McKinsey report, 62% of employees consider mental health issues a top challenge,” it is good to see growing resources and approaches aimed at addressing the challenge: Calm raises $75 million, expands into corporate mental health and wellness
#8. And, step by step, digital therapeutics are going mainstream: Click Therapeutics raises $30 million in debt to advance commercialization of smoking cessation app Clickotine
#9. Never two without three: Pear Therapeutics raises $80M; finds cost savings of $2,150 per patient with opioid use disorder
#10. Finally, we asked our team and trusted advisors to compile a list of ideas to stay sane and healthy in the months ahead, prioritizing habits shown to promote brain health, resilience and positive neuroplasticity: Enjoy these 3 New Year Resolutions and 36 Ideas for a Happier & Healthier 2021
Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy New Year