Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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3 ways to manage smartphone use and improve quality of life

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As psy­chol­o­gist Chris Willard often says, our phones can be our great­est ene­my or great­est friend. While they can save us time and ener­gy, edu­cate and enter­tain us, and keep us safe in emer­gen­cies, they can also dis­tract us from the things we need in life to stay hap­py and healthy. Read the rest of this entry »

Lack of sleep seen to cause sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) in adolescents with attention deficits

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It is esti­mat­ed that up to 75% of youth with ADHD have sleep prob­lems. And, exper­i­men­tal stud­ies that manip­u­late sleep quan­ti­ty have demon­strat­ed a causal link between sleep and ADHD behav­ior in chil­dren.

How­ev­er, there has been no pri­or work in which sleep dura­tion has been manip­u­lat­ed in ado­les­cents diag­nosed with ADHD. Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds lifelong neurogenesis in the hippocampus, but rates decline with age and, especially, Alzheimer’s disease

Recent, imma­ture neu­rons (in red) and old­er, mature neu­rons (in blue) in the hip­pocam­pus of a 68-year-old’s brain. Cred­it: CSIC

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Old brains still make neu­rons, study finds, offer­ing a pos­si­ble way to pro­tect against Alzheimer’s (STAT):

Reports of old brains’ decrepi­tude have been great­ly exag­ger­at­ed, sci­en­tists report­ed on Mon­day, unveil­ing results that con­tra­dict a much-dis­cussed 2018 study and instead sup­port the idea that human gray mat­ter is capa­ble of gen­er­at­ing new neu­rons up to the ninth decade of life.

The research, pub­lished in Nature Med­i­cine, also found that old brains from peo­ple with­out demen­tia have much high­er rates of such neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis than Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: The more prostheses the higher the need for intuitive interfaces and design

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CDT-Neu­ro stu­dent leads team to win £10K Robot­ics & Inno­va­tion prize (Impe­r­i­al Col­lege Lon­don):

Irene Mendez Guer­ra (CDT Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy), Ben Lakey (Mitt and Impe­r­i­al alum­ni), Ivan Vujak­li­ja (Prof. Aal­to Uni­ver­si­ty and for­mer Impe­r­i­al asso­ciate) and Dario Fari­na (Chair Neu­rore­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Engi­neer­ing, Impe­r­i­al) have cre­at­ed Nav­i­ga, which is devel­op­ing intu­itive, user friend­ly con­trols for pros­the­ses … Naviga’s con­trol sys­tem elim­i­nates the long train­ing ses­sions and improves the cur­rent con­trol approach­es to increase the accep­tance, usage, and func­tion­al­i­ty of cur­rent pros­the­ses.”

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Study finds promise in smell training to harness neuroplasticity and improve brain health in older adults

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An impaired sense of smell can sig­nal cog­ni­tive decline, but ‘smell train­ing’ could help (The Con­ver­sa­tion):

As we age, we often have prob­lems with our abil­i­ty to smell (called olfac­to­ry dys­func­tion). Old­er peo­ple might not be able to iden­ti­fy an odour or dif­fer­en­ti­ate one odour from anoth­er. In some cas­es they might not be able to detect an odour at all.

Odour iden­ti­fi­ca­tion dif­fi­cul­ties are com­mon in peo­ple with neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases, includ­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease Read the rest of this entry »

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