Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Report: Cognitive Testing Program Fails Soldiers, Leaving Brain Injuries Undetected

Test­ing Pro­gram Fails Sol­diers, Leav­ing Brain Injuries Unde­tect­ed (ProP­ub­li­ca):

In 2007, with road­side bombs explod­ing across Iraq, Con­gress moved to improve care for sol­diers who had suf­fered one of the war’s sig­na­ture wounds, trau­mat­ic brain injury.

Law­mak­ers passed a mea­sure requir­ing the mil­i­tary to test sol­diers’ brain func­tion before they deployed and again when they returned. The test was sup­posed to ensure that sol­diers received prop­er treat­ment.

Instead, an inves­ti­ga­tion by ProP­ub­li­ca and NPR has found, the test­ing pro­gram has failed to deliv­er on its promise, offer­ing sol­diers the appear­ance of help, but not the real­i­ty. Read the rest of this entry »

Neurocognitive assessments and sports concussions

Con­cus­sion effect ‘spans decades’ (BBC)

- “Peo­ple con­cussed in their youth show sub­tle signs of men­tal and phys­i­cal prob­lems even more than 30 years lat­er, say Cana­di­an researchers.”

- “Dr Louis de Beau­mont, who led the study, said: “This study shows that the effects of sports con­cus­sions in ear­ly adult­hood per­sist beyond 30 years post-con­cus­sion, and that it can cause cog­ni­tive and motor func­tion alter­ations as the ath­letes age.”

- “Ath­letes should be bet­ter informed about the cumu­la­tive and per­sis­tent effects of sports con­cus­sion on men­tal and phys­i­cal process­es so they know about the risk asso­ci­at­ed with return­ing to their sport.”

The study in ques­tion:

De Beau­mont L, The­o­ret H, Mon­geon D at al. Brain func­tion decline in healthy retired ath­letes who sus­tained their last sports con­cus­sion in ear­ly adult­hood. Brain 2009, Advanced online pub­li­ca­tion Jan­u­ary 27

Giv­en the impor­tance of this top­ic, which we cov­ered in our 2008 Mar­ket Research, we are hap­py to read about new resources like a new book titled Sports Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy: Assess­ment and Man­age­ment of Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury

From a recent book review by Gary S. Solomon, Ph.D.:

- “The past 15 years has yield­ed an explo­sion of infor­ma­tion on Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive News November-December 2008

Here you have sev­er­al recent arti­cles and devel­op­ments wor­thy of atten­tion:Brain Health News

1) Boom times for brain train­ing games (CNN)
2) Nav­i­gat­ing the brain fit­ness land­scape: do’s and don’ts (McK­night’s Long Term Care News)
3) USA Hock­ey and Intel­li­gym (press release)
4) Brain Fit­ness at New York Pub­lic Library (NYPL blog)
5) McDon­nell Foun­da­tion grant har­ness­es cog­ni­tive sci­ence to improve stu­dent learn­ing (press release)
6) Health insur­ance firms offer­ing online cog­ni­tive ther­a­py for insom­nia (Los Ange­les Times)
7) Head­Min­der Cog­ni­tive Sta­bil­i­ty Index: Com­put­er­ized Neu­rocog­ni­tive … (Press release)
8) THE AGE OF MASS INTELLIGENCE (Intel­li­gent Life)
9) Work­ing Lat­er in Life May Facil­i­tate Neur­al Health (Cere­brum)
10) The Cool Fac­tor: Nev­er Let Them See You Sweat (New York Times)

Links, select­ed quotes and com­men­tary: Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Assessments: HeadMinder, ANAM, and more

Just saw a very inter­est­ing press release regard­ing com­put­er-based neu­rocog­ni­tive assess­ments — a crit­i­cal part of the brain fit­ness puz­zle. How long will it take before con­sumers can have access to a reli­able and cred­i­ble annu­al “men­tal check-up”/ cog­ni­tive base­line?

Head­Min­der Cog­ni­tive Sta­bil­i­ty Index: Com­put­er­ized Neu­rocog­ni­tive … (Press release)

- “The Head­Min­der web-based Cog­ni­tive Sta­bil­i­ty Index (CSI) has proven more use­ful for blast-con­cus­sion detec­tion than the ANAM com­put­er­ized test bat­tery the DoD cur­rent­ly employs. The CSI pro­vides an imme­di­ate solu­tion to clear the back­log of 400,000 IED-exposed ser­vice mem­bers in less than two years.”

- “The CSI is a 30-minute, Inter­net-based, com­put­er­ized test that pro­vides auto­mat­ed, objec­tive mea­sures of atten­tion, mem­o­ry, response speed, and pro­cess­ing speed for ini­tial eval­u­a­tion of cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing. The CSI pro­duces stan­dard­ized reports that enable triage and deci­sion-mak­ing appro­pri­ate to a user’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions — from medic to neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist to neu­rol­o­gist and oth­er treat­ment team mem­bers.”

We cov­ered this emerg­ing type of assess­ments in the arti­cle Com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Assess­ments: oppor­tu­ni­ties and con­cerns

- “In fact, one of the Read the rest of this entry »

The Cognitive Health and Fitness Market On The Move

As you have prob­a­bly seen, the Cog­ni­tive Health and Brain Fit­ness field is rapid­ly evolv­ing, so let me high­light some of the main recent devel­op­ments affect­ing the field:

1) Pub­lic pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives:
— The Gov­ern­ment of Ontario, Cana­da, announced a $10m invest­ment in Bay­crest Research Cen­ter to help devel­op and com­mer­cial­ize brain fit­ness tech­nolo­gies. This $10m invest­ment was matched with an addi­tion­al $10m by local investors.
— In the US, The Paul Well­stone and Pete Domeni­ci Men­tal Health Par­i­ty and Addic­tion Equi­ty Act of 2008 was signed into law, includ­ed in the recent­ly-approved eco­nom­ic bailout bill. The pas­sage of this law has sig­nif­i­cant impli­ca­tions for health­care providers and tech­nol­o­gy ven­dors alike.

2) Com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Assess­ments Used by the US Mil­i­tary:
The US Army launched a new pol­i­cy requir­ing cog­ni­tive screen­ings of all sol­diers before deploy­ment (in order to bet­ter diag­nose poten­tial prob­lems such as PTSD and TBI upon return). ANAM was the select­ed com­put­er­ized bat­tery of tests.

3) Ven­ture & Angel Fundrais­ing for Cog­ni­tive Train­ing com­pa­nies:
A num­ber of devel­op­ers have raised mon­ey. Cog­niFit received $5m (from Milk Cap­i­tal), Lumos Labs $3m (First­Mark Cap­i­tal ‑pre­vi­ous­ly called Pequot Ventures‑, Nor­west Ven­ture Part­ners), Sci­en­tif­ic Brain Train­ing $1.5m (issued shares), Viv­i­ty Labs $1m (undis­closed angel investors), This is, of course, on top of the Feb­ru­ary $10.6 invest­ment in Dakim (Galen Part­ners) that we already includ­ed in our mar­ket report.

4) Major Ini­tia­tives by Insur­ance Com­pa­nies:
— All­state launched a large-scale research project to mea­sure impact of Posit Sci­ence InSight (visu­al pro­cess­ing train­ing) on dri­ver safe­ty for adults over 50.
— OptumHealth announced a 3‑year, $18m agree­ment with Brain Resource to offer web-based cog­ni­tive assess­ments as part of clin­i­cians’ deci­sion sup­port sys­tems.
— Humana decid­ed not to renew its agree­ment with Posit Sci­ence to offer Posit’s audi­to­ry pro­cess­ing train­ing pro­gram to Medicare mem­bers.

5) New Research:
— In a sig­nif­i­cant new study, a team from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan pub­lished a high-qual­i­ty paper in the Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences show­ing how com­put­er­ized work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing can gen­er­al­ize and improve flu­id intel­li­gence (one of the domains that tends to decline with age).
— Learn­ing and Teach­ing Scot­land released an inter­nal study show­ing how Nin­ten­do Brain Train­ing can help children’s math and con­cen­tra­tion skills. The study gained sig­nif­i­cant media atten­tion, despite the fact it hasn’t been pub­lished in a respect­ed jour­nal.

Note: This is an excerpt from the 6‑Month Mar­ket Update we will  release lat­er this month, cov­er­ing the many impor­tant devel­op­ments that have occurred since we launched the inau­gur­al Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket Report in March this year. This spe­cial report will be avail­able exclu­sive­ly for our Pre­mi­um Research Spon­sors.

About SharpBrains

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.

Search in our archives

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.