On mental fitness beliefs, lifestyles and new tools like apps, digital therapeutics, virtual reality, “brain age gaps” and more

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing time­ly brain & men­tal health news and a fun cou­ple of math brain teasers.

#1. Study on the “ABCs of Men­tal Health” finds that sim­ply believ­ing you can improve men­tal well­be­ing helps actu­al­ly improve it

Beliefs mat­ter.

#2. “Dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics” vs. “Men­tal health apps”: A grow­ing debate on stan­dards, reg­u­la­tion and efficacy

Def­i­n­i­tions matter.

#3. How ’sleep­ing on it’ can help the pre­frontal cor­tex reg­u­late emo­tion­al respons­es, mak­ing us feel bet­ter in the morning

Sleep mat­ters.

#4. NICE in the UK issues rec­om­men­da­tion for Sleepio app, the dig­i­tal cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py for insom­nia by Big Health

Inno­va­tion mat­ters: “At a price of £45 per per­son, Sleepio is cost sav­ing com­pared with usu­al treat­ment in pri­ma­ry care. This is based on an analy­sis of pri­ma­ry care resource use data before and after Sleepio was intro­duced in 9 GP prac­tices. Health­care costs were low­er at 1 year, most­ly because of few­er GP appoint­ments and sleep­ing pills prescribed.”

#5. New book pro­vides prac­ti­cal guid­ance for women (and men) to rebal­ance our lifestyles and build Cog­ni­tive Reserve

Lifestyle mat­ters: “The more com­plex our lives are, the more we need sim­ple things that can ground us and help us to be more resilient – to rebal­ance and rebal­ance and rebal­ance again. Build­ing the men­tal mus­cles to find bal­ance when one gets off bal­ance is a crit­i­cal skill thrive and to build cog­ni­tive reserve in our fast-chang­ing times. As our month­ly gath­er­ings showed us over the years, prac­tic­ing rebal­ance in good com­pa­ny not only rein­forces neur­al path­ways and capa­bil­i­ties but also strength­ens the bonds of trust and con­fi­dence that are invalu­able to build a healthy envi­ron­ment to thrive in.”

#6. Study: Auto­mat­ed VR psy­chother­a­py can help reduce anx­i­ety and dis­tress, espe­cial­ly among those with psy­chosis and severe agoraphobia

One of the ben­e­fits of VR is that patients know they are in a sim­u­la­tion, which enables “psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tance from prob­lem­at­ic reac­tions,” the study authors wrote. “The process of find­ing the best uses and imple­men­ta­tion meth­ods of this immer­sive tech­nol­o­gy at scale in men­tal health is only beginning.”

#7. Fund­ing for dig­i­tal health start-ups, espe­cial­ly in men­tal health, fall sub­stan­tial­ly in Q1’22

While all tech sec­tors received small­er fund­ing totals than the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, dig­i­tal health plunged much fur­ther than oth­ers did … investor inter­est in men­tal health tech wavered as the mar­ket and pub­lic com­pa­nies like Talk­space and Cere­bral come under scrutiny.”

#8. Deep learn­ing mod­el built on neu­roimag­ing data iden­ti­fies “Brain Age Gaps” as mark­ers of Alzheimer’s dis­ease (AD)

The main find­ing of our study is that we could indeed find evi­dence that high brain age gap is behav­ing as an accel­er­at­ed brain aging bio­mark­er.” — Dr. David Jones, neu­rol­o­gist at Mayo Clinic

Final­ly, a cou­ple fun brain teasers to help you flex your math/ cog­ni­tive men­tal muscles:

#9. Will you fin­ish your the­sis on time?

#10. Math brain teas­er requir­ing no math — just per­cep­tion and cognition


Wish­ing you and yours a healthy and stim­u­lat­ing June!

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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