You might enjoy skiing or hiking. But do you feel at home in the mountains? Do you feel connected to the wilderness? According to a new study, that sense of being “home” in nature could be linked to your life satisfaction and personal growth, at least for young people. Another new study of older people finds that a connection to nature seems to make them happier and more willing to help others.
Education & Lifelong Learning
Stimulant medication treatment and behavior therapy are currently the two child ADHD treatments with the strongest research support. However, when parents begin treatment for their child, or when professionals are initiating treatment with a new client, there is no research to guide the decision of which approach to begin with.
Is it better to start with medication treatment and add behavior therapy if needed? Or, should behavior therapy come first with medication added if the child’s response is not sufficient? Or, is it always preferable to begin with combined treatment? [Read more…] about What should come first to treat ADHD in children, behavior therapy or stimulant medication?
Lifespan Cognitive Reserve—A Secret to Coping With Neurodegenerative Pathology (JAMA Neurology editorial):
Given the limited success of therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer disease, there is increased interest in understanding whether modifiable factors can help cope with or postpone the appearance of brain pathology. It is estimated that about 35% of Alzheimer risk is modifiable. Epidemiologic studies have shown that lifetime exposures to higher education, higher occupational attainment, and cognitively stimulating activities are associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer dementia. Autopsy studies have shown interindividual differences in the amount of brain pathology people can tolerate before manifesting cognitive impairments, and autopsied brains of about one-third of individuals who are cognitively normal meet neuropathological criteria for Alzheimer disease. [Read more…] about Study: High Cognitive Reserve (CR) seen to significantly lower dementia risk even in the presence of high Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) neuropathology
Does ‘Brain Training’ Actually Work? (Scientific American):
If there were an app on your phone that could improve your memory, would you try it? Who wouldn’t want a better memory? After all, our recollections are fragile and can be impaired by diseases, injuries, mental health conditions and, most acutely for all of us, aging. [Read more…] about Given cognitive strengths and needs are diverse, what brain training may work best for each person and under which conditions?
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring 13 fascinating brain research findings, useful resources–and a brain teaser to test your attention skills.
#1. Good news of the month: Elders today are in significantly better shape–physically and cognitively–than three decades ago
#2. A distinction WITH a difference: Actual, sustained practice–not mere knowledge–is needed to harness neuroplasticity and improve cognition over time
#3. “Be mindful that with the rapid changes we are experiencing, our brains are going through accelerated learning. Our brains get tired just as our bodies would if we ran a marathon without training.” How COVID-related stress can disrupt your brain circuits and nine tips to prevent it
#6. Which is why we look forward to seeing 9,000+ students, plus their many teachers and administrators, further develop their unique brains and minds in years ahead: Helping shape the future of lifelong learning via SEK Education Group
#7. “… it would certainly be premature to suggest that moving to a high altitude state would improve a child’s ADHD symptoms. However, the findings highlight the value of keeping an open mind in efforts to understand the development of ADHD and the role natural environments may play in potentially alleviating it.” Study finds surprising correlation between states’ elevation and ADHD prevalence
#9. Time to start paying serious attention to the brain/ cognitive side effects of common medications. Anticholinergic drugs found to significantly increase risk of cognitive decline, especially among those with Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers or genetic predisposition
#10. Fascinating: “After a 14-day training period … visuospatial skills improved by 40%. This increase in visuospatial ability was shown to be directly responsible for a reduction in motion sickness by 51% in the simulator … and a 58% reduction in the on-road trial.” Study: Self-driving cars will increase motion sickness…unless we retrain our brains to improve visuospatial skills
#11. Behavioral health and neuroplasticity meet big pharma to hopefully address a huge need. Click Therapeutics and Boehringer Ingelheim partner to develop and market a digital therapeutic to treat schizophrenia
#12. Neuralink: Thumbs up or down?
#13. Brain teaser: Did you notice the numerical error as it happened? If not, feel free to go back and find it now 🙂
Wishing you a safe and healthy October,
Alvaro Fernandez and the SharpBrains Team
Older people have become younger: physical and cognitive function have improved meaningfully in 30 years (University of Jyväskylä release):
The functional ability of older people is nowadays better when it is compared to that of people at the same age three decades ago. This was observed in a study conducted at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The study compared the physical and cognitive performance of people nowadays between the ages of 75 and 80 with that of the same-aged people in the 1990s. [Read more…] about Study: Elders today are in significantly better shape–physically and cognitively–than three decades ago