News on how the brain changes over time, how to clear foggy brains, how to multitask (or not), and more

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing time­ly brain & men­tal health news and a fun brain teas­er to test the lim­its of multi-tasking.

#1. Col­lab­o­ra­tive neu­roimag­ing ini­tia­tive Brain­Chart helps chart how brains change across the lifes­pan. Among the many fas­ci­nat­ing findings:

The vol­ume of grey mat­ter (brain cells) increas­es rapid­ly from mid-ges­ta­tion onwards, peak­ing just before we are six years old. It then begins to decrease slowly.”
“The vol­ume of white mat­ter (brain con­nec­tions) also increased rapid­ly from mid-ges­ta­tion through ear­ly child­hood and peaks just before we are 29 years old.”
“The decline in white mat­ter vol­ume begins to accel­er­ate after 50 years.”

#2. Five ways to clear fog­gy brains and improve cog­ni­tive well-being

Become more inten­tion­al about con­sum­ing news … news­pa­pers, TV news pro­grams, and many social media sites make their mon­ey by grab­bing your attention—and noth­ing grabs atten­tion bet­ter than neg­a­tive news. But repeat­ed expo­sure to crises wreaks hav­oc with our well-being and can lead to bad deci­sion making.”

#3. As announced in our pre­vi­ous e‑newsletter, the Cen­ter for Brain­Health at UT-Dal­las host­ed a talk titled Nav­i­gat­ing the Brain Health Mar­ket with Álvaro Fer­nán­dez Ibáñez on April 21st. We had over a thou­sand par­tic­i­pants, hun­dreds of com­ments and a superb Q&A at the end — you can enjoy the full ses­sion record­ing HERE, over at YouTube.

#4. Map­ping ‘psy­che­del­ic trips’ in the brain to bet­ter direct their ther­a­peu­tic effects

Our study shows that it’s pos­si­ble to map the diverse and wild­ly sub­jec­tive psy­che­del­ic expe­ri­ences to spe­cif­ic regions in the brain. These insights may lead to new ways to com­bine exist­ing or yet to be dis­cov­ered com­pounds to pro­duce desired treat­ment effects for a range of psy­chi­atric conditions.”

#5. Altoi­da rais­es fur­ther $14 mil­lion to “democ­ra­tize dig­i­tal cog­ni­tive assess­ment at scale” via aug­ment­ed real­i­ty (AR) and AI

Through an app down­loaded to a patient’s own smart­phone or tablet, Altoida’s tech first offers up a 10-minute test. A vari­ety of Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty (AR)-powered exer­cis­es mea­sure 11 areas of the brain that have been linked to Alzheimer’s. The video-game-like activ­i­ties ask users to hide and relo­cate vir­tu­al objects around the room, sim­u­late a fire evac­u­a­tion and search for vir­tu­al items while a sound con­tin­u­ous­ly plays .. The result­ing report high­lights symp­toms of cog­ni­tive decline—such as hand and gait errors, eye track­ing, pupil dila­tion and more—and pro­vides a score of the like­li­hood that they’ll devel­op Alzheimer’s with­in the next year.”

#6. Geisinger and Eisai to test real-world valid­i­ty of AI-pow­ered Pas­sive Dig­i­tal Mark­er (PDM) in detect­ing ear­ly cog­ni­tive impair­ment and dementia

As an imple­men­ta­tion sci­en­tist, it is always excit­ing to have oth­er sci­en­tists eval­u­ate the repro­ducibil­i­ty of the per­for­mance of our pas­sive dig­i­tal mark­er in very dif­fer­ent pop­u­la­tions,” said Malaz Bous­tani, M.D., Richard M. Fair­banks Pro­fes­sor of Aging Research at Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty. “Repro­ducibil­i­ty is the cor­ner­stone of sci­en­tif­ic progress.”

#7. Debate: Will dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics gain the required lev­els of aware­ness, adop­tion, reim­burse­ment and ful­fill­ment to become sustainable?

There’s still a lot of foun­da­tion­al work that needs to be done,” said Maya Desai, direc­tor of life sci­ences for Guide­house. “There’s a lot of behav­ioral change that needs to hap­pen across the stake­hold­ers and their mind­sets to think about dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics as a cat­e­go­ry of its own.”

#8. And, yes, here’s the quick brain teas­er to test the lim­its of multitasking


Wish­ing you and yours a healthy and stim­u­lat­ing May … Sum­mer is Coming.


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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