Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) today announced a new virtual research study, in collaboration with Apple, to investigate the role Apple Watch and iPhone could play in monitoring cognitive performance and screening for decline in cognitive health including mild cognitive impairment (MCI). [Read more…] about The new frontier in neurocognitive monitoring and dementia screening: the Apple Watch
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring 14 research findings, resources and tips for brain health … and starting with this fascinating study:
- Five are “neck up:” Lower education level, Lower cognitive activity, Head trauma, Repeated episodes of depression, High-levels of long-term stress.
- Five are “neck down:” Hypertension in mid-life, Orthostatic hypotension, Diabetes, High BMI, High levels of homocysteine. Systematic review finds ten lifestyle factors that clearly impact the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
#3. “The healthiest people are the ones who grow with age and experience; even in times of trouble like these.” — Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, President of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. On Stress, Yoga Meditation, and The Evolution Revolution
#4. “Acceptance that Alzheimer’s disease is a lifestyle disease, little different from other age-related diseases, that is the sum of a lifetime is the most important breakthrough of the decade.” — George Perry, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Higher body mass index (BMI) linked to lower blood supply to the brain in large neuroimaging study
#5. “Attention is a scarce resource. Think about your attentional focus as the beam of a light. If the light is on an object it cannot be on other objects at the same time with the same intensity … Although we typically have the feeling that multitasking saves us time, it is often not the case.” Simple, quick brain teaser to test the limits of multitasking
#6. If it appears to rotate, RT Fun optical illusion to tease your mind
#7. Every cloud has a silver lining: How and when will the telemedicine surge reach mental healthcare?
#9. “In a time when emotions like stress, anxiety, boredom, and anger are hard to avoid, a new study suggests that a particular meditation practice can help us face them.” Study: Meditation practice, both formal and informal, helps develop equanimity over time
#10. Ever since discovering Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s life trajectory via Normain Doidge’s fantastic book The Brain That Changes Itself, we have been impressed by her creativity, stamina and courage. Coming soon: Virtual World Tour at the frontier of applied neuroplasticity, education and learning difficulties
#11. “Neural signals will be used to develop algorithms that will help researchers determine the optimal brain state under which individuals can receive information. From there, the team will determine the most effective means of enhancing the subjects’ ability to intake and process information. This could range from non-invasive neuromodulation—or brain stimulation—techniques to the use of augmented reality to alter perceived environmental conditions.” Air Force announces research platform to harness closed-loop neurotechnology and accelerate learning “on the fly”
#12. Good to hear that “ensuring the privacy and security of study participants’ data is a high priority for both UCLA and Apple. UCLA will process and maintain study data in a secure environment … UCLA and Apple will analyze the data only after they are coded and stripped of names and other contact information.” UCLA launches major mental health study collecting & analyzing data from Apple wearables to better understand depression and anxiety
#13. Flexibility is good except when it isn’t: Study finds how scientists can reach different conclusions analyzing the same brain scans
#14. “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one” — Gandhi, as quoted in Seven evidence-based reasons to start meditating yesterday
Wishing you a safe and healthy September,
Alvaro Fernandez on behalf of the SharpBrains Team
UCLA on Tuesday said it is launching a three-year study to better understand how factors such as sleep, physical activity, heart rate and daily routines impact symptoms of depression and anxiety.
UCLA is working with Apple to design the study, which will use data collected by the iPhone, Apple Watch and Beddit sleep-tracker … involves 150 participants recruited from among UCLA Health patients. From there, the next phases of the research will expand out to 3,000 participants from both the hospital and the student body. Study participants will download an app onto their iPhones, then receive a Beddit sleep monitor and an Apple Watch, which they can use throughout the study.
Kaiser Permanente is trying to give its 12.4 million members a little bit of calm.
Starting Tuesday, the health-care provider is allowing patients to download the Calm meditation app for free as part of a way to help customers manage anxiety as they deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Calm is the most-popular health and fitness app on Google-powered devices and No. 2 on the iPhone, according to App Annie. Paid subscriptions normally cost $70 a year … Calm was seeing surging growth even before the coronavirus forced Americans to shelter in place and led to skyrocketing unemployment. The San Francisco-based start-up was valued by investors last year at $1 billion, two years after being named Apple’s app of the year back in 2017. The app has been downloaded over 80 million times.
After a very busy month, it’s time now for SharpBrains e‑newsletter to summarize the latest initiatives, tools and ideas for lifelong brain health and mental fitness — and to share a few puzzles and illusions to tease your brain.
A growing number of classrooms in China are equipped with artificial-intelligence cameras and brain-wave trackers. Video: Crystal Tai for The Wall Street Journal.
New neuro-infused education and healthcare initiatives:
- China is harnessing brain-wave trackers and artificial-intelligence to raise better (and more compliant?) students
- Report calls for wide classroom-based adoption of ten brain fitness programs designed to improve foundational executive functions
- The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK considers adding a 5‑minute cognitive test to its annual health check-up
- CVS Health: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) apps may help you more than sleeping pills
New neurotech and digital health tools:
- What does the Facebook acquisition of CTRL-Labs mean for Neurotechnology and Augmented & Virtual Reality?
- Startup Aural Analytics raises $4.3M to monitor neurological health by analyzing speech patterns
- Will personalized meditation apps be able to replicate the experience of working with a coach?
- IBM, VA and Total Brain to test digital mental health platform for veterans and reservists
New thinking on brain and mental health:
- Two great professional development opportunities with renowned neuropsychologist Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg
- Apple/ Eli Lilly’s bet: Wearable and mobile consumer devices may well help us detect cognitive impairment and dementia
- May “industry review boards” contribute to the wider adoption of virtual and augmented reality for physical and mental health?
Finally, a few fun brain teasers for adults and kids alike 🙂
- Tease your brain with the Hermann Grid illusion
- Brain teaser to test your pattern recognition: Fill the void
- Math brain teaser requiring no math — just perception and cognition
Have a great month of October,
The SharpBrains Team
Apple, Eli Lilly research whether devices can detect dementia signs (Healthcare Dive):
“Dementia, which affects roughly 47 million people across the globe, costs $1 trillion worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Early testing for the condition is sporadic and, when conducted, it’s often not sensitive enough to detect early stages of mental decline, creating an opportunity for tech companies like Apple to see whether they can turn a profit.
The “rich, longitudinal information” from wearable and mobile consumer devices can be [Read more…] about Apple/ Eli Lilly’s bet: Wearable and mobile consumer devices may well help us detect cognitive impairment and dementia