From “Eminence-based” to Evidence-based cognitive & mental healthcare: Time for quality and accountability

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing time­ly brain & men­tal health news, two excel­lent new books and a few fun brain teasers.

#1. From “Emi­nence-based” to Evi­dence-based men­tal health­care: Time to focus on qual­i­ty and accountability

The real chal­lenge is not find­ing a ther­a­pist, it’s find­ing a ther­a­pist who knows how to pro­vide the treat­ments that work. In the ear­ly 2000s, Myr­na Weiss­man was try­ing to under­stand why so few ther­a­pists use sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly based treat­ments. She found that over 60 per­cent of pro­fes­sion­al schools of psy­chol­o­gy and master’s lev­el social work pro­grams did not include any super­vised train­ing for any sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly based ther­a­py … In con­trast to evi­dence-based care, I call this “emi­nence-based care.” — Dr. Thomas Insel in his excel­lent new book

#2. Anoth­er great new book to cel­e­brate Brain Aware­ness Week 2022

Spain played a unique role in Cajal’s discoveries—that is, in the pro­gres­sion of neu­ro­science. The coun­try was not a hotbed of sci­en­tif­ic research. Lack­ing men­tors, Cajal near­ly aban­doned his efforts. But work­ing inde­pen­dent­ly may have forged his auton­o­my and freed him from the influ­ence of tra­di­tion­al the­o­ries. He also longed to dis­prove the stereo­types about Spain. “One could admit that Spain pro­duces some genius artist, such as a long-haired poet or ges­tic­u­lat­ing dancer of either sex,” Cajal lat­er wrote, “but the idea that a true man of sci­ence would emerge from there was con­sid­ered absurd.” — Fas­ci­nat­ing insights into the “father of mod­ern neuroscience”

#3. UT-Dal­las Brain­Health presents vir­tu­al talks with Alvaro Fer­nan­dez and San­jay Gup­ta next month (April 21th and 26th; both 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT/ Mia­mi time)

We believe some of you may be interested :-)

#4. Cana­di­an study finds causal link between time play­ing videogames at age 12 and ADHD symp­toms at age 13

After con­trol­ling for sex, socioe­co­nom­ic sta­tus, and ADHD symp­toms at age 12, the week­ly amount video game play report­ed at age 12 pre­dict­ed high­er lev­els of self-report­ed ADHD symp­toms at age 13 … The mag­ni­tude of the effect was not large, but it was sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. In con­trast, high­er lev­els of ADHD symp­toms at age 12 did not pre­dict an increase in video game play one year later.”

#5. From for­est bathing to urban parks: How nature helps pro­tect our well-being dur­ing a pandemic

Whether we gar­den, have a view of nature out our win­dow, vis­it near­by parks, or even just watch a nature video, we can help our­selves deal with the stress­es and strains of COVID iso­la­tion by giv­ing our­selves and our kids a dose of “Vit­a­min N.”

#6. A con­ver­sa­tion at the fron­tier of dig­i­tal health inno­va­tion, FDA reg­u­la­tions, and cog­ni­tive health

Good to see rec­og­nized the need for “reim­burse­ment inno­va­tion” for emerg­ing dig­i­tal bio­mark­ers & ther­a­peu­tics — the FDA does have both sticks and car­rots to leverage

#7. New DARPA ini­tia­tive aims to har­ness cog­ni­tive sci­ence, sen­sors and machine learn­ing to detect ear­ly brain signs of depres­sion, anx­i­ety, and sui­ci­dal ideation

NEAT is a proof-of-con­cept effort attempt­ing to devel­op a new tool for men­tal and behav­ioral health screen­ing that moves us beyond his­tor­i­cal and cur­rent meth­ods of ques­tions and con­scious­ly fil­tered respons­es … If suc­cess­ful, NEAT will not only sig­nif­i­cant­ly aug­ment behav­ioral health screen­ing, but it could also serve as a new way to assess ulti­mate treat­ment effi­ca­cy, since patients will often tell their clin­i­cians what they think the clin­i­cian wants to hear rather than how they are tru­ly feel­ing.” — Greg Witkop, pro­gram man­ag­er in DARPA’s Defense Sci­ences Office

#8. Sep­a­rat­ing brain-healthy wheat from chaff is becom­ing more urgent by the day

Would you trust claims in A or B or neither?

Final­ly, here’s a selec­tion of fun brain teasers that read­ers have enjoyed the most this year so far:

#9. Where’s the baby?

#10. Can you con­nect these pairs of words?

#11. Want to test your stress level?

#12. Which way is the bus head­ing?


Wish­ing you and yours a healthy and stim­u­lat­ing April … and let’s get some Vit­a­min N (and D) this weekend!

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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