A company has started selling the first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a leap for the field that could make it much easier for people to learn whether they have dementia. It also raises concern about the accuracy and impact of such life-altering news. [Read more…] about Questionable “Alzheimer’s blood test” goes on sale prior to FDA approval
Wow, that was a couple of very insightful discussions, via social media no less.
#1. The first one was about whether heads of state and candidates to high office should pass a cognitive/ mental fitness test. Click HERE to read and discuss some of the sharpest comments, such as…
- “I wonder what brought this up.”
- “Definitely. We routinely screen applicants for a wide range of jobs.”
- “Then the balance of political power would shift towards the designers of those tests.”
- “That’s what debates are for.”
- “Yes, but probably nobody would pass it.”
- “No, because if we can’t judge that for ourselves, then what business do we have voting at all?”
#2. The second debate centered on the future of mental health: In ten years, will we see DSM‑6 or Something Much Better (SMB‑1)? Would you say “Something better hopefully” or “Well considering we approach mental health from a disease model.…that’s the first problem” or “DSM is a tool, and a very useful one. As any other tool it depends on the use you make of it,” or something else.
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring as always new thinking, research and tools for lifelong brain health and mental fitness.
#4. Let’s understand how to increase resistance to tau and amyloid proteins so we can all become “super-agers.” Brain scans show lower accumulation of tau and amyloid pathology among cognitive “super-agers”
#6. Wanted: 30,000 volunteers! Large UC study to investigate when and how brain training transfers (or does not) to broader cognitive and health benefits
#7. Timely questions: “How common are neurological and psychiatric complications in patients with COVID-19? What proportion of neurological and psychiatric complications affect the (central nervous system) versus the peripheral nervous system, and are novel syndromes emerging? And who is most at risk?” Survey finds ischaemic stroke and altered mental status as most common neurological complications in severe COVID-19 cases
#8. “Our mind is one of the only things that we cannot consistently measure and quantify. And humans do remarkable things when we can measure something.” Kernel raises $53 million to ease access to rich neural data and market Neuroscience as a Service (NaaS)
#9. “We are taking proven cognitive behavioral therapies and fully automating them to deliver the care scalably and consistently as drugs.” Startup Big Health raises $39M to universalize access to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and poor sleep
#10. Building on Bill Gates’ original goal of ‘a computer on every desk,’ perhaps it’s time for ‘real-time mental health support on every phone.’ Microsoft announces support for three innovative mental health services harnessing artificial intelligence (AI)
#11. Resonance. Empathy. Awareness. Compassion. Hope. And our favorite… Humor. Six tips to help regulate stress levels in our organizations
#12. Finally, a fun brain teaser. What do you see, rectangles or circles?
Wishing you a good and safe August,
The SharpBrains Team
Super-Agers Show Resistance to Tau and Amyloid Accumulation, Maintain High Cognitive Function (Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging press release):
Super-agers, or individuals whose cognitive skills are above the norm even at an advanced age, have been found to have increased resistance to tau and amyloid proteins, according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2020 Annual Meeting. An analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) scans has shown that compared to normal-agers and those with mild cognitive impairment, super-agers have a lower burden of tau and amyloid pathology associated with neurodegeneration, which probably allows them to maintain their cognitive performance. An image showing the comparison of tau and amyloid distribution patterns in these different cognitive aging trajectories has been selected as SNMMI’s 2020 Image of the Year. [Read more…] about Brain scans show lower accumulation of tau and amyloid pathology among cognitive “super-agers”
Time to wrap-up another stimulating month with SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring this time a range of promising news for everyone with a (human) brain 🙂
New tech for brain health:
- Neuroengineering meets neuroethics to address treatment-resistant depression
- Study: Hearing aids may help older adults delay dementia, depression, anxiety, and falls
- Four guidelines for smart use of smartphones
New brain and mind research:
- Reminder: A brain-friendly lifestyle is the best approach to delay cognitive decline and dementia
- Study challenges the “seductive” amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
- Study finds a key ingredient in mindfulness training: Acceptance (not acquiescence)
New thinking to shape education and healthcare:
- What are the ethics of discouraging much-needed innovation given potential privacy concerns?
- Help select the campaign sticker for Brain Awareness Week 2020
- SharpBrains y El Cerebro Que Cura se presentan en Madrid
- Growing concern and hope about astronauts’ cognitive health during spaceflight
Finally, a few riddles to tease your brain:
- Nine great riddles about Life and Death
- Seven sharp riddles to celebrate Thanksgiving in perfect harmony
Have a great Thanksgiving and December,
The SharpBrains Team
“More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the affliction that erodes memory and other mental capacities, but no drugs targeting the disease have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2003…Lo and three co-authors propose [Read more…] about Rethinking Alzheimer’s research, beyond amyloid deposition, via new funding models
Two good recent pieces in The New York Times bring to the forefront the need to question status quo mindset and practices about how to measure and enhance brain health.
- “Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are [Read more…] about Questioning brain health status quo in depression and Alzheimer’s