Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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New market report analyzing the growing Digital Brain Health market 2012-2020

We are proud to release today what we believe is our best market intelligence report so far, tracking how fully automated applications designed to assess, monitor and/ or enhance cognition and brain functioning are transforming brain health, and health overall.

Here are a few examples of what we mean by Digital Brain Health, selected from among the 5 Market Leaders and 10 Companies to Watch in 2013/2014 identified through our comprehensive analysis.

  • A 30-minute online brain health assessment and personalized brain fitness program used by large companies like Nationwide Insurance and Accenture to improve employee’s productivity and mental wellness
  • An online cognitive training program offered by several large AAA chapters to members age 50+ to improve driving safety
  • A computerized cognitive behavioral therapy offered by the NHS in the UK as a first-line intervention for anxiety and depression
  • A fully digital headset and platform that measures basic brain states (such as level of attention) and is being used to help people meditate better and reduce ADHD symptoms
  • An iPad-based assessment that tracks cognitive performance over time to help detect concussions among football/ hockey players and military personnel Read the rest of this entry »

Research: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Helps Adults with ADHD

Many adults with ADHD do not obtain their diagnosis until adulthood and have struggled with difficulties related to undiagnosed ADHD for their entire lives. As documented in recent studies, this includes elevated rates of depression, anxiety disorders, substance use, work difficulties and interpersonal problems.

As with children and adolescents, medication treatment for adults with ADHD can be quite helpful, especially for reducing core ADHD symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.  However, Read the rest of this entry »

Maker of cognitive training game seeks FDA approval

Good brief article at New Scientist, Maker of cognitive training game seeks FDA approval:

– “Imagine walking away from a doctor’s office with a prescription to play a video game. Brain Plasticity, the developer of a cognitive training game, has begun talks with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the game as a therapeutic drug.”

– “Brain Plasticity has been fine-tuning a game to help people with schizophrenia improve the deficits in attention and memory that are often associated with the disorder.”

What kind of attention is involved in ADHD?

An excellent article by the Dana Foundation clarifies what the “Real Deficit in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” is. Thank you to John from our Sharp­Brains’ group in LinkedIn for pointing it out.

Among other things, this article shows you that attention is more complex than you probably thought: Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Know Thyself, Know How Your Brain Works

What is working memory, and why it matters? Can we multi-task as good as we seem to assume? What should we all know about how our brains work, and why?

We hope you enjoy this August eNewsletter, featuring six distinguished contributors who answer those questions, and more. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this free Brain Fitness eNewsletter by email, using the box in the right column.

Know Thyself

Why working memory matters in the knowledge age: As Dr. Tracy Alloway points out, one way to visualize working memory is as the brain’s “Post-it Notes” — we make mental scribbles of bits of information we need to remember and work with. Without enough working memory we cannot function as a society or as individuals. Learn more by participating in this study launched by Dr. Alloway’s team in conjunction with the British Science Festival.

What should everyone learn about the brain?: Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman and Mary Koppel from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) discuss recent recommendations on what all students should know. Not just the basics of brain structure and function, but also a good understanding of mental health—such as the mind/body relationship, factors that shape behavior, ways of coping with mental distress, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

News

Pooling data to accelerate Alzheimer’s research: A good article in the New York Times presents the reasons behind growing research of how to detect Alzheimer’s Disease. A pilot study shows how computerized cognitive training may help reduce falls among elderly. Amazon.com recommends The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness in a thought-provoking mix.

Beyond News

Needed: funding for innovative research on slowing cognitive decline via cognitive training: SharpBrains reader and UK researcher Nick Almond shares a note debunking the so-called BBC brain training experiment  and outlining the type of research he and colleagues at Leeds University deem necessary.

Long-term effects of neurofeedback treatment for ADHD: Dr. David Rabiner reviews the 6-month follow-up of a scientific study on whether neurofeedback can help kids with attention deficits, finding that benefits indeed remained 6 months after treatment had ended. Given, however, that only around 50% of children showed benefits, it is important to regard this tool as part of a multimodal treat­ment program.

Brain Teaser

Test your attentional focus and multi-tasking: How often do you read a document while talking on the phone with a client? Or think about your problems at work while helping your child with his homework? Human attention is limited, and we need to manage it well, as shown in this teaser prepared by Dr. Pascale Michelon.

Have a great September. And, should you happen to be in Barcelona, Spain, on September 14th, make sure to attend Alvaro Fernandez talk there titled “How and Why Digital Technology Will Transform Education, Training and Brain Health“.

Learn More and Save Your Spot

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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