… The Imperial study was one of a spate of clinical trials launched over the past few years using illicit psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and MDMA (3,4‑methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as molly or ecstasy) to treat mental-health disorders, generally with the close guidance of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. The idea has been around for decades — or centuries in some cultures — but the momentum has picked up drastically over the past few years as investors and scientists have begun to champion the approach again. [Read more…] about Next: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy?
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating findings, books and resources for lifelong brain health.
#1. “The human brain (section; left image above) functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe (section simulation; right image) can count upon a cosmic web of at least 100 billion galaxies. Within both systems, only 30% of their masses are composed of galaxies and neurons. Within both systems, galaxies and neurons arrange themselves in long filaments or nodes between the filaments. Finally, within both systems, 70% of the distribution of mass or energy is composed of components playing an apparently passive role: water in the brain and dark energy in the observable Universe.” Understanding Brain Health via Cosmological Health, and vice versa
#2. One very smart and generous brain to brighten your day: Indian teacher Ranjitsinh Disale wins annual $1M Global Teacher Prize; shares half with 9 finalists
#3. “Of all the qualities parents can cultivate in their children, hope and optimism are the most precious. We can nurture hope and optimism in our kids by demonstrating that we always have some control over our environment and ourselves. The future isn’t a tide that’s going to crush us, it’s a wave we’re a part of.” — Madeline Levine, author of Ready or Not. Three favorite 2020 books on parenting and mental health
#5. This survey of 2500 families about what ADHD treatments seem to work/ not work finds that 49% of parents report Exercise to be ‘Extremely or Very Effective;’ above any other treatment.
#6. On the dangers of “productizing” lifestyle guidelines that help build brain reserve and delay cognitive problems; Buyer beware: The story of a pricey and “credentialled” program to end Alzheimer’s Disease
#7. Now, given that “In a new McKinsey report, 62% of employees consider mental health issues a top challenge,” it is good to see growing resources and approaches aimed at addressing the challenge: Calm raises $75 million, expands into corporate mental health and wellness
#8. And, step by step, digital therapeutics are going mainstream: Click Therapeutics raises $30 million in debt to advance commercialization of smoking cessation app Clickotine
#9. Never two without three: Pear Therapeutics raises $80M; finds cost savings of $2,150 per patient with opioid use disorder
#10. Finally, we asked our team and trusted advisors to compile a list of ideas to stay sane and healthy in the months ahead, prioritizing habits shown to promote brain health, resilience and positive neuroplasticity: Enjoy these 3 New Year Resolutions and 36 Ideas for a Happier & Healthier 2021
Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy New Year
For a lot of families, parenting has never been harder than it was this year. Many have been struggling for months trying to provide child care and schooling at home while simultaneously working either alongside their children or as essential workers in the community, if they haven’t already lost their jobs.
The theme that emerges across our favorite parenting books of the year is how important connection and communication are. These 2020 books offer science-based practical tips and sample scripts to help you communicate better with your children, build closer relationships, and set them up for happiness and resilience in life. [Read more…] about Three favorite 2020 books on parenting and mental health
2020 is the year I decided to cut back on empty brain calories. That’s right, I swore off the mindless junk from social media. Because we are all likely to conduct more and more doomscrolling as the election nears and 2020 continues its infamy, I urge you to stop ingesting digital junk, and start reading a book. [Read more…] about On cutting “empty brain calories” by reading a book instead of social media
In my previous post 10 Brain Training Tips To Teach and Learn I promised to share some of the resources–books, conferences, and websites– that inform my understanding of teaching, learning and the brain. Here’s an updated list: [Read more…] about Top Resources for Educators on Learning and the Brain
A couple of weeks ago The New York Times published an excellent article about the life and work of neuroscience [Read more…] about Neuroplasticity as seen by one of its earliest scientist proponents: Neuroscience pioneer Santiago Ramón y Cajal