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Large study to study impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers

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Does grow­ing up poor harm brain devel­op­ment? (The Econ­o­mist):

Plen­ty of evi­dence sug­gests that grow­ing up poor, liv­ing through these kinds of scrapes, has a detri­men­tal impact on child devel­op­ment. Chil­dren from rich fam­i­lies tend to have bet­ter lan­guage and mem­o­ry skills than those from poor fam­i­lies. More afflu­ent chil­dren usu­al­ly per­form bet­ter in school, and are less like­ly to end up in jail. Grow­ing up poor risks the devel­op­ment of a small­er cere­bral cor­tex. But these are asso­ci­a­tions Read the rest of this entry »

Could technology help cure depression among older adults? (Short answer: Yes)

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Why tech­nol­o­gy — not med­ica­tion — is the future of treat­ing old­er adults with depres­sion (McKnight’s Long-term Care News):

The go-to treat­ment for many cas­es of depres­sion is med­ica­tion.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this treat­ment option can cause as many issues as the prob­lem it is try­ing to solve. Anti­de­pres­sants can put res­i­dents at greater risk of falls, neg­a­tive health com­pli­ca­tions and oth­er poor con­di­tions. Some stud­ies indi­cate that anti­de­pres­sants may not be effec­tive for most old­er Amer­i­cans. Read the rest of this entry »

Six tips for social-emotional learning (SEL) to transfer into real-world skills

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Social-emo­tion­al learn­ing (SEL) teach­es the key atti­tudes and skills nec­es­sary for under­stand­ing and man­ag­ing emo­tions, lis­ten­ing, feel­ing and show­ing empa­thy for oth­ers, and mak­ing thought­ful, respon­si­ble deci­sions. For five years, I was an edu­ca­tor in the field teach­ing mind­ful­ness and emo­tion­al skills to teenagers at six dif­fer­ent high schools.

Over and over, I saw the pow­er of mind­ful­ness to trans­form the inner lives of stu­dents. Stu­dents became less stressed, more self-reg­u­lat­ed, and more thought­ful toward their class­mates. But I also saw that Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive training, diet, exercise, and vascular management seen to improve cognition even in people with genetic predisposition for dementia (APOE e4)

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How do genet­ics impact ear­ly inter­ven­tion for demen­tia? (Med­ical News Bul­letin):

Car­dio­vas­cu­lar and neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases, such as demen­tia, have been linked to dys­func­tion of a vari­a­tion of the apolipopro­tein E, or APOE, gene, called the APOE e4 allele…The Finnish Geri­atric Inter­ven­tion Study to Pre­vent Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment and Dis­abil­i­ty (FINGER) eval­u­at­ed whether the effec­tive­ness of lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tions for those at risk of Alzheimer’s dis­ease would be dif­fer­ent for those with or with­out the APOE e4 gene. Read the rest of this entry »

Coming soon: Assessing your mental health while you talk on a phone, type on a keyboard, or scroll through a website

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Tech Watch­es You for Dig­i­tal Symp­toms of Brain Dis­or­ders (IEEE Spec­trum):

The med­ical pro­fes­sion­als tasked with car­ing for our minds don’t have an easy job. To diag­nose peo­ple with neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­eases, doc­tors can per­form brain scans, but such scans are expen­sive and the results are some­times inscrutable. The oth­er options include con­duct­ing time-­con­sum­ing cog­ni­tive tests, or rely­ing on doc­tors’ own sub­jec­tive analy­ses.

See­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty, a num­ber of star­tups have devised quan­ti­ta­tive meth­ods to diag­nose dis­eases or assess men­tal health while patients com­plete rou­tine activ­i­ties, like talk­ing on a smart­phone, typ­ing on a key­board, or scrolling through a web­site. Here are three com­pa­nies that say they can lift the “fin­ger­prints” of men­tal dis­or­ders from people’s mun­dane behav­iors.

Con­tin­ue read­ing arti­cle to get a good update on Mind­strong Health, Neu­raMetrix and Win­terLight Labs. Read the rest of this entry »

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