Welcome to the last 2022 edition of SharpBrains e‑newsletter, featuring a few selected brain health news and fun teasers to challenge your brain and help us all think outside the box.
#1. “Everyone agrees that Google Glass failed when it came to market, but to me, it’s a symbol of hope … It inspired people to think beyond traditional ways of moving about our environment. Instead of looking down at a device, we could look out at the world and have an overlay of digital information. It was one of the first steps in physical–digital convergence that we are seeing today throughout many industries. And as someone who has created many inventions that never left the lab or were too early for the market, I love the fact that Glass came out at all!” — wise words by neurotech entrepreneur Dr. Cori Lathan in her new (and excellent) book. See Technology as a bridge in time: Shaping the future of brain health via today’s innovations–including those that “fail”
#2. “Some people want to do cognitive training while moving rather than sitting down, and that really spoke to me as a possibility for real benefits given anecdotal stories about games like ‘Dance Dance Revolution.’” — Joaquin A. Anguera, associate professor at UCSF and director of Neuroscape‘s Clinical Division. See Study: A combined cognitive-physical training approach may enhance both mind and body as we age
#3. “Given that ketamine’s rapid action and unexpected dissociative effects make it a potentially worthwhile option for treating mental health problems, we are on a mission to unpack this mystery, at the crossroads between pharmacology and neuroscience.” See Study identifies cognitive benefits of ketamine in patients with treatment-resistant depression
#4. “The gratitude writing group maintained gratitude levels and decreased stress and negative affect at one-month post-intervention” — that maintenance aspect is especially interesting. See Thanksgiving works: Gratitude journaling seen to lower stress and negative cognitive processes
#5. Impressive new funding–especially given market conditions–with a goal to identify “brain biomarkers by analyzing EEG activity, behavioral task performance, wearable data, genetics, and other factors to match each patient with the right Alto drug.” See Precision psychiatry pioneer Alto Neuroscience raises $35M to advance digital biomarker-to-treatment platform
#6. Some bad news. See The FDA ends precertification (Pre-Cert) pilot program, saying new authority required to regulate software as a medical device (SaMD)
#7. And some great news: “(Péter Hudomiet, study’s lead author) said it’s also possible that, given numerous studies being released on steps to take to avoid dementia, some of the decline may be attributed to people heeding such advice.” See Study finds sharp decrease (nearly one-third) in the prevalence of dementia among those 65+ in the United States
#8. Finally, here are a few brain teasers to stimulate those neurons in your temporal lobes and to help us all think outside the box.
Have a healthy and wonderful 2023!