Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study: Moderate lifetime drinking may lead to lower Alzheimer-related beta amyloid deposits in the brain

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Mod­er­ate drink­ing tied to low­er lev­els of Alzheimer’s brain pro­tein (Busi­ness Stan­dard):

Kore­an researchers stud­ied 414 men and women, aver­age age 71, who were free of demen­tia or alco­hol-relat­ed dis­or­ders. All under­went phys­i­cal exams, tests of men­tal acu­ity, and positron emis­sion tomog­ra­phy (PET) and mag­net­ic res­o­nance imag­ing (MRI) scans. They were care­ful­ly inter­viewed about their drink­ing habits.

The study, in PLOS Med­i­cine, mea­sured drink­ing in “stan­dard drinks” — 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one-and-a-half ounces of hard liquor. Com­pared with abstain­ers, those who drank one to 13 stan­dard drinks a week had a 66 per cent low­er rate of beta amy­loid deposits in their brains. Read the rest of this entry »

The NIH starts spending $1.5 billion in new Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) projects

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NIH Starts to Spend $4.8 Bil­lion in “Extra” Cures Drug Research Mon­ey (P&T Com­mu­ni­ty):

The Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health (NIH) launched 110 new brain research projects in the fis­cal year end­ing last Sep­tem­ber (2017) with the first por­tion of the $1.5 bil­lion over 10 years it will hope­ful­ly receive from the 21st Cen­tu­ry Cures Act, which spread a total of $4.8 bil­lion over four NIH pro­grams. That is mon­ey over and above the NIH annu­al appro­pri­a­tion from Con­gress. The oth­er three “Inno­va­tion Funds” are: Pre­ci­sion Med­i­cine, Can­cer Moon­shot, and Regen­er­a­tive Med­i­cine.

The $1.5 bil­lion in new Brain Research through Advanc­ing Inno­v­a­tive Neu­ro-tech­nolo­gies (BRAIN) research mon­ey seems par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant giv­en the announce­ment in Jan­u­ary that Pfiz­er was end­ing its Alzheimer’s research pro­gram Read the rest of this entry »

With pharma exiting Alzheimer’s research, new hope (and urgency) seen in the combination of brain training and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

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What does the future hold for the war on Alzheimer’s? (The Globe and Mail):

After spend­ing huge sums on clin­i­cal trails in recent years, the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try has failed to find a drug that can halt the mind-rob­bing dis­ease. And this month, Pfiz­er announced it is end­ing its Alzheimer’s research, although oth­er com­pa­nies haven’t thrown in the tow­el yet. But oth­er pre­ven­tion mea­sures are being explored.

Sev­er­al Toron­to hos­pi­tals are involved in an ambi­tious $10-mil­lion, five-year study to deter­mine whether a com­bi­na­tion of cog­ni­tive reme­di­a­tion – men­tal exer­cis­es – plus elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion of the brain can delay Read the rest of this entry »

20 Must-Know Facts to Harness Neuroplasticity and Improve Brain Health

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June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Aware­ness Month, so let me share these 20 Must-Know Facts to Har­ness Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty & Improve Brain Health that come from the hun­dreds of sci­en­tif­ic and med­ical stud­ies we ana­lyzed  Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Michael Merzenich: To harness Neuroplasticity for cognitive enhancement, we need to think “Fitness” more than “Games”

KavliPrize-Neuro(Edi­tor’s Note: In order to help read­ers famil­iar­ize them­selves with the work and think­ing of Dr. Michael Merzenich, one of the win­ners of the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neu­ro­science for ground­break­ing work on neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, we are con­dens­ing and repub­lish­ing the com­pre­hen­sive con­ver­sa­tion that Dr. Merzenich and Alvaro Fer­nan­dez had in 2009, in prepa­ra­tion for the inau­gur­al Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit.)

Dr. Michael Merzenich, Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor at UCSF, is a lead­ing pio­neer in brain plas­tic­i­ty research. In the late 1980s, Dr. Merzenich was on the team that invent­ed the cochlear implant. In 1996, he was the found­ing CEO of Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, and in 2004 became co-founder and Read the rest of this entry »

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