On one of our “walk and talks” around the lush trails of Rock Creek Park in DC surrounded by bikers, runners, cars and the occasional deer, Wendy and Lisa talked about aging. Wendy’s mother, who had her children in her early 20s, was still joining the family’s grueling summer hikes with her children and nine grandchildren well into her 60s. Wendy mused about how much older she would be when their kids could have their own kids. It dawned on her that her health was not just a here and now issue, but an investment in that future. We agreed to help each other cultivate the habits and make time to build strength as well as reserves, both physical and mental, for the long-term. Their goal: to enjoy being active in their 40s and 50s while also laying the groundwork to continue being active into their 60s, 70s, and beyond. [Read more…] about New book provides practical guidance for women (and men) to rebalance our lifestyles and build Cognitive Reserve
Education & Lifelong Learning
The number of people struggling with poor mental health and mental disorders has been rising around the world over the past few decades. Those who are struggling are increasingly facing difficulties accessing the kind of support they need – leaving many waiting months for help, if they even qualify for treatment.
While it’s clear that more needs to be done to improve access to treatment, it doesn’t mean people inevitably have to struggle with their mental health as a result. In fact, there are many things people can do on their own to maintain good mental health – and even prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place. According to our recent research, one of the steps you can take to improve your mental wellbeing may be as simple as believing that you can.
In our recent study, we asked 3,015 Danish adults to fill out a survey that asked questions about mental health – such as whether they believe they can do something to keep mentally healthy, whether they had done something in the past two weeks to support their mental health, and also whether they were currently struggling with a mental health problem. We then assessed their level of mental wellbeing using the Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, which is widely used by healthcare professionals and researchers to measure mental wellbeing. [Read more…] about Study on the “ABCs of Mental Health” finds that simply believing you can improve mental wellbeing helps actually improve it
The other day, my friend Kristina told me that one evening she unintentionally locked her husband in a downstairs part of their house. She had known he was down there, but while distractedly locking the door for the night, forgot completely. She didn’t realize what she’d done until she saw a text from her husband the next morning asking her to please let him out.
“I couldn’t believe I did that to him,” she says. “I was stunned and alarmed that I had no awareness, in the moment or afterward, of what I had done.” [Read more…] about Five ways to clear foggy brains and improve cognitive well-being
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring timely brain & mental health news, two excellent new books and a few fun brain teasers.
“The real challenge is not finding a therapist, it’s finding a therapist who knows how to provide the treatments that work. In the early 2000s, Myrna Weissman was trying to understand why so few therapists use scientifically based treatments. She found that over 60 percent of professional schools of psychology and master’s level social work programs did not include any supervised training for any scientifically based therapy … In contrast to evidence-based care, I call this “eminence-based care.” — Dr. Thomas Insel in his excellent new book
“Spain played a unique role in Cajal’s discoveries—that is, in the progression of neuroscience. The country was not a hotbed of scientific research. Lacking mentors, Cajal nearly abandoned his efforts. But working independently may have forged his autonomy and freed him from the influence of traditional theories. He also longed to disprove the stereotypes about Spain. “One could admit that Spain produces some genius artist, such as a long-haired poet or gesticulating dancer of either sex,” Cajal later wrote, “but the idea that a true man of science would emerge from there was considered absurd.” — Fascinating insights into the “father of modern neuroscience”
#3. UT-Dallas BrainHealth presents virtual talks with Alvaro Fernandez and Sanjay Gupta next month (April 21th and 26th; both 8:00 – 9:00 PM EDT/ Miami time)
We believe some of you may be interested 🙂
“After controlling for sex, socioeconomic status, and ADHD symptoms at age 12, the weekly amount video game play reported at age 12 predicted higher levels of self-reported ADHD symptoms at age 13 … The magnitude of the effect was not large, but it was statistically significant. In contrast, higher levels of ADHD symptoms at age 12 did not predict an increase in video game play one year later.”
“Whether we garden, have a view of nature out our window, visit nearby parks, or even just watch a nature video, we can help ourselves deal with the stresses and strains of COVID isolation by giving ourselves and our kids a dose of “Vitamin N.”
Good to see recognized the need for “reimbursement innovation” for emerging digital biomarkers & therapeutics — the FDA does have both sticks and carrots to leverage
“NEAT is a proof-of-concept effort attempting to develop a new tool for mental and behavioral health screening that moves us beyond historical and current methods of questions and consciously filtered responses … If successful, NEAT will not only significantly augment behavioral health screening, but it could also serve as a new way to assess ultimate treatment efficacy, since patients will often tell their clinicians what they think the clinician wants to hear rather than how they are truly feeling.” — Greg Witkop, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office
Would you trust claims in A or B or neither?
Finally, here’s a selection of fun brain teasers that readers have enjoyed the most this year so far:
#9. Where’s the baby?
#11. Want to test your stress level?
#12. Which way is the bus heading?
Wishing you and yours a healthy and stimulating April … and let’s get some Vitamin N (and D) this weekend!
The SharpBrains Team
Each month, the most fascinating speakers participate in interactive conversations about the latest advances in brain health science, technology and real-world application.
All talks are virtual and free of charge. Register for the season and attend as many talks as you like.
» Learn More & Register HERE
NAVIGATING THE DIGITAL BRAIN HEALTH MARKET
with Alvaro Fernandez
April 21, 2022 | 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Mr. Fernandez, named a Young Global Leader, runs SharpBrains, an independent market research firm tracking applied neuroscience will present the latest trends in digital brain health and society’s march toward pervasive neurotechnology.
He is the editor-in-chief of seminal market reports on Pervasive Neurotechnology and Digital Brain Health, and co-author of the books The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness and El Cerebro Que Cura.
with Sanjay Gupta, MD
April 26, 2022 | 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Sanjay Gupta – neurosurgeon, medical reporter and author – is a leading voice on health, wellness and active living, and a trusted resource for expert advice on how to stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the country’s premier narrator of health, he makes important scientific developments relatable. He will share insights from his recent NY Times best-seller Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age.
Brain Awareness Week 2022 just started!
Let’s celebrate our human brains by learning more about neuroscience pioneer Santiago Ramón y Cajal via a great new book about his life and by challenging our minds with a few fun brain teasers and illusions below ?
First, some fascinating insights into the “father of modern neuroscience” from a superb book review:
It was during a trip to Madrid for his exams that Cajal visited a lab where he learned how to look at cells under a microscope. He fell in love. He had dreamed of exploring new worlds, Mr. Ehrlich tells us, “and he thought of microscopic anatomists as ‘Columbuses.’ ” His ship was launched. Cajal spent hours alone, staring at cells and sketching.
Spain played a unique role in Cajal’s discoveries—that is, in the progression of neuroscience. The country was not a hotbed of scientific research. Lacking mentors, Cajal nearly abandoned his efforts. But working independently may have forged his autonomy and freed him from the influence of traditional theories. He also longed to disprove the stereotypes about Spain. “One could admit that Spain produces some genius artist, such as a long-haired poet or gesticulating dancer of either sex,” Cajal later wrote, “but the idea that a true man of science would emerge from there was considered absurd.”
And here’s a selection of five stimulating brain teasers that readers enjoyed the most so far in 2022:
- Where’s the baby?
- Please complete these proverbs to exercise your brain in familiar and novel ways
- Want to test your stress level?
- Which way is the bus heading?
- Can you connect these pairs of words?
About Brain Awareness Week:
Every March, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations and include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on brain-related topics; social media campaigns; displays at libraries and community centers; classroom workshops; and more. This year BAW takes place March 14–20th, 2022.