Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Wishing you a Happy New Decade (and sharing eight brain wellness tips to make it possible)

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Ready for a Hap­py New Year  and Hap­py New Decade?

Here’s a spe­cial edi­tion of the Sharp­Brains month­ly e‑newsletter fea­tur­ing the lat­est on brain health and men­tal well-being — we hope you enjoy these tips and advice about what to do, and what not to, to pro­mote brain well­ness in 2020 and beyond:

Prac­tice Breath­ing & Com­pas­sion: Three evi­dence-based ways to devel­op a resilient mind

… and a Sport you love: Play sports (smart­ly) for a qui­eter brain

Chal­lenge your friends, often: For bet­ter mem­o­ry and think­ing skills at age 70, play cards and board games from age 11

… for exam­ple by solv­ing big prob­lems togeth­er: Mind­strong Health recruits slew of Sil­i­con Val­ley tal­ent

When in trou­ble, con­sid­er ther­a­py before meds: To treat depres­sion, ther­a­py alone works bet­ter than ther­a­py com­bined with anti­de­pres­sants

… your might even be able to access it pri­vate­ly, online: First Dig­i­tal Health For­mu­la­ry by Express Scripts includes CBT-based pro­grams to treat depres­sion, anx­i­ety and insom­nia

Final­ly, beware “brain-boost­ing” sup­ple­ments, and don’t jump on direct-to-con­sumer tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) unless you under­stand Pros and Cons

… but always keep your mind open to awe and to new ways to tease your brain, see the world around us and even shape it!

 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and New Decade,

 

The SharpBrains Team

 

Debate: What are the ethics of discouraging much-needed innovation given potential privacy concerns?

CNN’s Ana Maria Mon­tero inter­views Ned Sahin. The dis­cus­sion about the impact of EU pri­va­cy laws starts in minute 10.

Sto­ry descrip­tion (CNN Mon­ey): Ned Sahin is founder and CEO of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy start-up Brain Pow­er, whose tool “Empow­er Me” uses smart glass­es like Google Glass to coach those with autism. It helps school­child­ren learn social and cog­ni­tive skills and can even guide adults through an inter­view process. Brain Power’s prod­uct is sold to many schools in the U.S. but may nev­er make it to mar­ket in Switzer­land Read the rest of this entry »

Help select the campaign sticker for Brain Awareness Week 2020

Thank you to all the Brain Aware­ness Week enthu­si­asts who entered our 2020 Brain Aware­ness Week Stick­er Design Con­test! The Dana Foun­da­tion received many won­der­ful and cre­ative design sub­mis­sions, and we’re pleased to announce that we’ve nar­rowed it down to our five final­ists. Now it’s YOUR turn to choose the win­ning design! Read the rest of this entry »

Study challenges the “seductive” amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

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Vas­cu­lar Health at Age 36 Tied to Brain Health at 70 (Med­page Today):

A lon­gi­tu­di­nal study shed light on just how ear­ly peo­ple may want to start doing some­thing to reduce their demen­tia risk decades in the future.

Each 1% increase in Fram­ing­ham vas­cu­lar risk score at age 36 was asso­ci­at­ed with 9% high­er white mat­ter hyper­in­ten­si­ty vol­ume … (how­ev­er) Vas­cu­lar risk scores were not linked to beta-amy­loid sta­tus at any point. Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroengineering meets neuroethics to address treatment-resistant depression

Dr. Maryam Shanechi. Cred­it: USC Viter­bi

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Is This the Future of Men­tal Health? (USC Viter­bi School of Engi­neer­ing):

Brain–machine inter­faces (BMIs) pro­vide a direct path­way to the brain to trans­late brain sig­nals into actions … Below, Shanechi (Note: Maryam Shanechi, PhD, assis­tant pro­fes­sor of elec­tri­cal and com­put­er engi­neer­ing) answers some ques­tions about her work and what the future might hold for our under­stand­ing and treat­ment of men­tal dis­or­ders.

What poten­tial does this hold for the future not just of men­tal health, but of under­stand­ing our brains as a whole?

Neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders are a major cause of dis­abil­i­ty world­wide with depres­sive dis­or­ders being the most dis­abling among them. About 30% of major depres­sion patients are treat­ment-resis­tant – that’s about 5 mil­lion peo­ple in the US alone. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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