Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


New survey highlights need to improve brain health literacy



New Sur­vey: Sci­ence-Backed Habits Reduce Demen­tia Risk, But Many Amer­i­cans Are Mis­in­formed (Read­er’s Digest):

Reader’s Digest part­nered with the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion to sur­vey approx­i­mate­ly 1,600 peo­ple dur­ing the month of May 2015 about their brain health and their knowl­edge of how lifestyle habits affect cog­ni­tive decline and dementia…respondents seemed to think they had more con­trol over their heart health than their brain health: Read the rest of this entry »

Brain health paradigm shift: from one-time screenings to regular cognitive assessments

Alzheimer_Word_cloud_conceptUSPSTF: No to Rou­tine Screen­ing for Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment (Med­scape):

There is insuf­fi­cient evi­dence to rec­om­mend rou­tine screen­ing for cog­ni­tive decline in old­er adults in the pri­ma­ry care set­ting, accord­ing to a new review by the US Pre­ven­tive Ser­vices Task Force (USPSTF)…The USPSTF review­ers looked at drug ther­a­py and non­drug ther­a­py options for cog­ni­tive impair­ment and found more evi­dence on both than at the 2003 review, but not enough evi­dence that they lead to bet­ter health out­comes.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the views of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion, Maria Car­ril­lo, PhD, vice pres­i­dent of med­ical and sci­en­tif­ic rela­tions, explained that “…no one should mis­con­strue this USPSTF guid­ance doc­u­ment to imply that there are no ben­e­fits to reg­u­lar cog­ni­tive eval­u­a­tions, Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming webinar: The State of the Dig­i­tal Brain Health Mar­ket (Jan­u­ary 30th, 2013)

We will dis­cuss the main find­ings and inno­va­tion opportunities/ chal­lenges iden­ti­fied in Sharp­Brains’ new mar­ket report The Dig­i­tal Brain Health Mar­ket 2012–2020: Web-based, mobile and bio­met­rics-based tech­nol­ogy to assess, mon­i­tor and enhance cog­ni­tion and brain func­tion­ing.

When: Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 30th, 2013, 1–2.30pm US East­ern Time (live webi­nar will be record­ed for lat­er view­ing by reg­is­trants) Read the rest of this entry »

Medicare to update reimbursement criteria for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s disease

What Medicare Will Cov­er Even if You’re Not Like­ly to Get Bet­ter (The New York Times):

Should the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment cov­er the costs of many kinds of treat­ments for patients who aren’t going to get any bet­ter? It didn’t, for many years. But after the set­tle­ment of a land­mark class-action this week, Medicare will soon Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s Disease: is our Healthcare System Ready?

In the midst of much health­care reform talk, not Alzheimer's Disease reportenough atten­tion seems focused on ensur­ing health­care sys­tems’ pre­pared­ness to deal with cog­ni­tive health issues ‑with Alzheimer’s Dis­ease as the most dra­mat­ic exam­ple- which are pre­dict­ed to grow giv­en aging pop­u­la­tion trends.

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and the USA Today com­ments on a new report that makes stark pre­dic­tions:
Glob­al Alzheimer’s cas­es expect­ed to rise sharply (USA Today)

- “The 2009 World Alzheimer’s Report, released today, esti­mates 35 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide are liv­ing with Alzheimer’s and oth­er forms of demen­tia. The fig­ure is a 10% increase over 2005 num­bers.”

- “The num­ber of peo­ple affect­ed by Alzheimer’s is grow­ing at a rapid rate, and the increas­ing per­son­al costs will have sig­nif­i­cant impact on the world’s economies and health care sys­tems,” said Har­ry Johns, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion. “We must make the fight against Alzheimer’s a pri­or­i­ty here in the Unit­ed States and world­wide,” he said.

- “The report by Lon­don-based non­prof­it Alzheimer’s Dis­ease Inter­na­tion­al (ADI), an inter­na­tion­al fed­er­a­tion of 71 nation­al Alzheimer orga­ni­za­tions (includ­ing the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion), indi­cates that the num­ber of peo­ple with demen­tia is expect­ed to grow sharply to 65.7 mil­lion in 2030 and 115.4 mil­lion in 2050.”

Link to report: Here

The Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion is orga­niz­ing mul­ti­ple Mem­o­ry Walks to raise aware­ness and funds. You can learn more and join Here. (Per­haps a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to orga­nize a “walk­ing book group” as Arthur Kramer sug­gest­ed in the Sharp­Brains Guide?)

The City of San Fran­cis­co, led by its Depart­ment of Aging and Adult Ser­vices (DAAS), con­vened since san francisco2008 an Alzheimer’s/ Demen­tia Expert Pan­el to iden­ti­fy gaps and issue rec­om­men­da­tions to address the grow­ing cri­sis in demen­tia care at the city lev­el, and is about to release a pio­neer­ing plan that may well influ­ence pub­lic health ini­tia­tives in oth­er cities and states. An inter­im doc­u­ment can be found here: 2020 Fore­sight-Strat­e­gy For Excel­lence in Demen­tia Care (pdf)

One of the major areas of focus for that strat­e­gy was Edu­ca­tion & Pre­ven­tion, and below we can share a sum­ma­ry of the pre­lim­i­nary find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions. We will high­light the final report when ready.




The subcommittee’s charge was to con­sid­er how best to edu­cate the San Fran­cis­co com­mu­ni­ty about Alzheimer’s and relat­ed demen­tias to change atti­tudes, beliefs, behav­iors, stan­dards of prac­tice, and out­comes asso­ci­at­ed with the dis­ease.

Spe­cif­ic top­ics addressed include:
· Pro­tec­tive fac­tors relat­ing to demen­tia, includ­ing risk fac­tors and brain health
· Ear­ly iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of demen­tia
· Ear­ly access to ser­vices
· Com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion
· Edu­ca­tion of pro­fes­sion­als and non­pro­fes­sion­als, includ­ing physi­cians, psy­chi­a­trists and psy­chol­o­gists, social work­ers, nurs­es, and oth­er care­givers, both paid care­givers and infor­mal care­givers such as fam­i­ly and friends
· Eth­i­cal issues
· Pol­i­cy issues

The dis­sem­i­na­tion of accu­rate infor­ma­tion about Alzheimer’s and relat­ed demen­tias can play an impor­tant role in Read the rest of this entry »

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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