Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Perspective: How brain training games could help patients with Huntington’s disease

– Lia Koltyrina/Shutterstock

In the search for new treat­ments, sci­ence often focus­es on med­ica­tion first. But drugs aren’t the only way to fight ill­ness, par­tic­u­lar­ly when look­ing at brain dis­eases. My research looks into how play­ing spe­cial­ly designed com­put­er games might help peo­ple who are liv­ing with Huntington’s dis­ease. Read the rest of this entry »

Schizophrenia Research is Leading the Way in Cognitive Remediation

As announced by the NIMH a few months ago, schiz­o­phre­nia can now be con­sid­ered as a brain dis­or­der. Research is focus­ing on the cog­ni­tive deficits as the main prob­lem of the dis­or­der, prob­a­bly pre­ced­ing and per­haps lead­ing to the symp­toms of hal­lu­ci­na­tions and delu­sions.

A recent arti­cle in the Psy­chi­atric Times reviews the dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive reme­di­a­tion tech­niques used with peo­ple suf­fer­ing from schiz­o­phre­nia. This is of inter­est to any­body work­ing on men­tal health. Indeed, as Sophia Vino­gradov, Inter­im Vice Chair Psy­chi­a­try at UCSF will dis­cuss dur­ing the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit (next week!) schiz­o­phre­nia is lead­ing the way in under­stand­ing how to iden­ti­fy and address brain-based cog­ni­tive deficits asso­ci­at­ed with the dis­or­der.

…most [Cog­ni­tive Reme­di­a­tion (CR) pro­grams] are now com­put­er­ized. Some  pro­grams use a mix of gen­er­al edu­ca­tion­al soft­ware, but many train par­tic­i­pants with spe­cial­ized com­put­er soft­ware designed to improve cog­ni­tion.

Most CR pro­grams aim to improve the cog­ni­tive domains usu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with deficits in schizophrenia—for instance ver­bal and visu­al work­ing mem­o­ry, exec­u­tive func­tion, atten­tion, and pro­cess­ing speed.

CR has been demon­strat­ed to improve over­all (glob­al) cog­ni­tion as well as spe­cif­ic domains, includ­ing atten­tion, exec­u­tive func­tion, work­ing mem­o­ry, ver­bal learn­ing and mem­o­ry, pro­cess­ing speed, and affect recog­ni­tion.

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.

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