Akili Interactive, a startup that has developed a video game to help treat attention-deficit disorders in kids, has agreed to go public through a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check companies.
The deal, which confirms a Bloomberg News report, values the combined entity at about $1 billion, Akili and Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. It will provide as much as $412 million in gross cash proceeds, the companies said. [Read more…] about Digital therapeutics pioneer Akili Interactive plans to go public in mid-2022 at a $1B valuation
Attention & ADD/ADHD
Although medication treatment for ADHD has been shown to significantly reduce core ADHD symptoms in hundreds of studies, important concerns remain about it being prescribed inappropriately to children and teens who do not have ADHD. There is also evidence that many youth with ADHD who could potentially benefit from medication treatment do not receive it, and may realize poorer outcomes in as a result. [Read more…] about Are ADHD medications overprescribed or underprescribed? (Quick answer: both)
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be somehow linked to risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a new multigenerational study has found.
Parents and grandparents of people with ADHD have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia than people with no ADHD in their family, Swedish researchers said.
Specifically, parents of an ADHD child have a 34% higher risk of dementia and 55% higher risk of Alzheimer’s, the results showed. Grandparents have about an 11% increased risk of either condition. [Read more…] about Study finds ADHD is associated with dementia
Managing attention deficit disorder by training the brain (ScienceDaily):
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects about 7% of children, with a two out of three chance of persisting into adulthood. This neurodevelopmental disorder is characterised by concentration difficulties, increased distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Today, ADHD is treated with pharmaceutical drugs that may have unwanted side effects. This is why scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, explored a new technique called ‘neurofeedback’, which enables ADHD patients to train their attention, based on instant feedback from the level of their brain activity. [Read more…] about Study shows promising results of EEG-based brain training in helping adults with ADHD
Akili raises $110m to build its digital therapeutics pipeline (pharmaforum):
EndeavorRx became the first and so far only approved prescription video game treatment in the US when it was cleared by the FDA last year to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and has also been given a green light in Europe. [Read more…] about Akili Interactive Labs raises $160M in equity and debt to transform cognitive healthcare via prescription videogame treatments
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring ten timely resources and research findings for lifelong brain and mental fitness.
#1. Let’s start with a fascinating story and study 🙂
Study with 330 centenarians finds that cognitive decline is not inevitable … (Henne Holstege, PhD, assistant professor at Amsterdam University Medical Center) said her interest in researching aging and cognitive health was inspired by the “fascinating” story of Hendrikje van Andel Schipper, who died at age 115 in 2005 “completely cognitively healthy.”
#2. Neuroscientist Lisa Genova, author of the beautiful novel Still Alice, releases non-fiction book on Memory: “It is sobering to realize that three out of four prisoners who are later exonerated through DNA evidence were initially convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony. “You can be 100 percent confident in your vivid memory,” Genova writes, “and still be 100 percent wrong” … Genova assures her readers that only two per cent of Alzheimer’s cases are of the strictly inherited, early-onset kind. For most of us, our chances of developing the disease are highly amenable to interventions…”
#3. Timely tips for the weekend: Shape your environment, shape your mind
- Surround yourself with nature
- Create opportunities for awe
- Clear the clutter
#4. “For a mission to succeed, high mental and cognitive function would be absolutely critical; astronauts would be called on to perform demanding tasks in a demanding environment. Losing 20 IQ points halfway to Mars is not an option … Stress—an emotional or mental state resulting from tense or overwhelming circumstances—and the body’s response to it, which involves multiple systems, from metabolism to muscles to memory—may be the chief challenge that astronauts face.” Next in NASA’s path to Mars: Overcoming astronauts’ cognitive and mental health challenges
#5. Study: Depression affects visual perception … making it more accurate (based on a cool optical illusion)
#6. It’s good to have more tools in the neuro toolkit…assuming we use them wisely: Emerging applications of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): e‑sports skills training, cognitive enhancement in older adults
#8. Mental Health in the Digital Age: From digital therapeutics to personalized mental health solutions: Pear Therapeutics expands platform via partnerships with Empatica, etectRx, KeyWise, and Winterlight
#9. The award was won last year by Indian village teacher Ranjitsinh Disale; who will be next? Final day to nominate teachers for the $1M Global Teacher Prize 2021
#10. And last, but certainly not least, let’s welcome Mental Health Month (May) by appreciating our beautiful brains
Wishing you a mentally healthy and cognitively stimulating month of May,
The SharpBrains Team