The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a clinical trial using a neuroimaging helmet made by Los Angeles-based Kernel to track what happens in the brain when a human takes a psychedelic dose of ketamine. [Read more…] about FDA-approved, Cybin-sponsored clinicial trial to measure ketamine’s impact on the brain via Kernel Flow neuroimaging helmet
Neuroimaging: Many Analysts, Differing Results (Dana Foundation):
For decades, both the research and medical communities have relied on neuroimaging tools like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to give them a window into the living human brain. Such scans have provided unprecedented insights into the brain’s structure and function – and the field, as a whole, has used this technique to better understand how the brain gives rise to thoughts, emotions, and actions. But as neuroimaging technology has advanced, so have the different analysis tools and the number of ways one can evaluate the resulting data. Now, the results of unique research project, the Neuroimaging Analysis, Replication, and Prediction Study (NARPS), suggest that different analyses can lead to strikingly different results from the same data set.
A new study out of Colorado State University has found that physical stress in one’s job may be associated with faster brain aging and poorer memory.
Aga Burzynska, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and her research team connected occupational survey responses with brain-imaging data from 99 cognitively normal older adults, age 60 to 79. They found that those who reported high levels of physical stress in their most recent job had smaller volumes in the hippocampus and performed poorer on memory tasks. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is critical for memory and is affected in both normal aging and in dementia.
Time for a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter.
#1. First of all, it’s not all bad news this month. Study finds that moderate lifetime drinking may lead to lower Alzheimer-related beta amyloid deposits in the brain
#2. And, talk about personalized medicine! This fascinating study showing how brain imaging (fMRI) + machine learning + intensive, non-invasive neurostimulation = targeted treatments that can maximize efficacy and minimize side effects: Reinventing depression treatment via transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS)
#3. Also, not a minute too soon … Meditation apps have gone mainstream in the covid-19 era and Digital health start-ups raised a record $3.1 billion in Q1; focus will likely evolve from providers to consumers and employers
#4. Fyi, a very timely virtual event coming Tuesday April 28th, online: Explore strategies and tools to boost mental wellbeing during (and after) Covid-19
#5. Now, “While Pear has an advantage over the competition in that its products are backed by randomized clinical trials, physicians and health plans are still working out how to prescribe and pay for digital therapeutics.” The FDA clears Somryst, Pear’s digital therapeutic to treat chronic insomnia
#6. Net net, now is the time for individual and collective action to shift to a healthier “new normal” for all: 3 ways to protect your mental health during –and after– COVID-19 (in Spanish: Tres hábitos de higiene mental para vencer al COVID-19 y crear un futuro más saludable). Want more? Enjoy these Three tips for wise minds to calm coronavirus anxiety
#7. A small but important study for that hopeful near future when universities and colleges reopen their doors: Study finds mixed results of Adderall as cognitive enhancer (seems to boost emotion more than cognition)
#8. But, first things first. “The Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” reached #1 on the pop charts in 1977. Maybe it was the beat, maybe it was John Travolta’s dancing. Or maybe it’s that the Gibb brothers’ central lyric is quite literally always playing in our head. Keeping us safe —that is, “stayin’ alive ”— is the primary mission of the brain”
- Exploring the human brain and how it responds to stress (1/3)
- On World Health Day 2020, let’s discuss the stress response and the General Adaptation Syndrome (2/3)
- The frontal lobes, the little brain down under and “Stayin’ Alive” (3/3)
Enough with coronavirus outbreak. Anything else going on? Yes!
#9. The Right to Personal Identity. The Right to Free Will. The Right to Mental Privacy. The Right to Equal Access to Mental Augmentation. The Right to Protection from Algorithmic Bias. Will these five NeuroRights help harness emerging neurotechnologies for the common good?
#10. “Today, the scientific investigation of transcendent experiences is, in my view, one of the most exciting frontiers in the science of well-being.” Transcending Maslow’s famous “hierarchy of needs” through Maslow’s own research on Peak Experiences
#11. You CAN have your cake and eat it too: Here’s a brain teaser to stimulate your mental imagery, spatial rotation … and appetite
#12. Question: My first thought after congratulating myself on being so clever about something? Tease your brain with these eight fun riddles…
Wishing you and yours a great month of May,
The SharpBrains Team
Building the Thermometer for Mental Health (The Dana Foundation):
“Imagine that you visit your physician complaining of a fever and, rather than taking out a thermometer, they begin hovering their “educated hands” over you. Gradually, they press down against your arm to gain a full impression of your skin’s temperature and the “deeper seated combustions.” Removing their hand, they look closely at your appearance and pronounce their assessment: you do, in fact, have a fever. You might (justifiably) be dubious [Read more…] about On Mental Health and the advent of Digital Phenotyping
It’s remarkable how quickly things are changing, finally, in brain health and mental health — see for example what’s new with Interaxon, Akili, NeuraMetrix, Apple, Calm, Halo Neuroscience, Mindstrong Health, Novartis, Pear Therapeutics, and lifelong neurogenesis, all in the last 6 months!
- Cognitive training, diet, exercise, and vascular management seen to improve cognition even in people with genetic predisposition for dementia (APOE e4)
- Brain imaging show that patients with Alzheimer’s disease can still remember and enjoy their favorite songs
- Physical exercise doesn’t slow down dementia once it appears, study shows
- Initial study finds promise and limitations in using virtual reality (VR) to treat ADHD
- tDCS coming to an Equinox gym near you: Good, Bad or Depends?
- Could technology help cure depression among older adults? (Short answer: Yes)
- Six tips for social-emotional learning (SEL) to transfer into real-world skills
- Large study to assess impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers
- New book highlights continued brain development throughout adolescence, even into our 20s
- Presentation on Neuroscience, Education and Lifelong Learning (in Spanish)
Have a great month of June,
The SharpBrains Team