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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Trend: Rethinking (and treating) chronic pain as a brain disease

Can stim­u­lat­ing the brain treat chron­ic pain? (Sci­ence Dai­ly):

We’ve pub­lished numer­ous brain stim­u­la­tion papers over sev­er­al years, and we always learn some­thing impor­tant,” said senior author Flavio Frohlich, PhD, direc­tor of the Car­oli­na Cen­ter for Neu­rostim­u­la­tion and asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try. “But this is the first time we’ve stud­ied chron­ic pain, and this is the only time all three ele­ments of a study lined up per­fect­ly. We suc­cess­ful­ly tar­get­ed a spe­cif­ic brain region, we enhanced or restored that region’s activ­i­ty, and we cor­re­lat­ed that enhance­ment with a sig­nif­i­cant decrease in symp­toms” Keep on read­ing

FDA clears deep transcranial magnetic stimulation device to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder

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BrainsWay’s Brain Stim­u­la­tion Device Receives FDA Approval to Treat Obses­sive-Com­pul­sive Dis­or­der (IEEE Spec­trum):

In 2013, Jerusalem-based Brain­sWay began mar­ket­ing a new type of brain stim­u­la­tion device that uses mag­net­ic puls­es to treat major depres­sive dis­or­der.

Now, thanks to pos­i­tive results in a study of 100 patients, the com­pa­ny has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) to mar­ket the device for a sec­ond psy­chi­atric condition—obsessive-compulsive dis­or­der (OCD) Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Study finds continued birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) well into our 70s

New research:

New tools:

New thinking:

 

Final­ly, please Save the Date for the sec­ond edi­tion of the Brain­no­va­tions Pitch Con­test on Decem­ber 5th, 2018. Giv­en the suc­cess of the inau­gur­al event last year (details here), the 2018 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit will host a sec­ond con­test for 12 star­tups to pitch their inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to all Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants and to dis­tin­guished Judges –our very own “Sharp Tank.”

Have a great month of May,

The Sharp­Brains Team

–- Mem­bers of the Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Pan­el

Research trend: Combining brain stimulation with cognitive training to enhance attention and memory

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In 47 CE, Scri­bo­nius Largus, court physi­cian to the Roman emper­or Claudius, described in his Com­po­si­tiones a method for treat­ing chron­ic migraines: place tor­pe­do fish on the scalps of patients to ease their pain with elec­tric shocks. Largus was on the right path; our brains are com­prised of elec­tri­cal sig­nals that influ­ence how brain cells com­mu­ni­cate with each oth­er and in turn affect cog­ni­tive process­es such as mem­o­ry, emo­tion and atten­tion.

The sci­ence of brain stim­u­la­tion – alter­ing elec­tri­cal sig­nals in the brain – has, need­less to say, changed in the past 2,000 years. Today we have a hand­ful of Read the rest of this entry »

Important insights on the growing home use of tDCS brain stimulation: older-than-expected users, positive self-reported results for treatment of depression but negative for self-enhancement, and a couple areas of concern (severe burns, frequency)

Dr. Brent Williams is wear­ing a home­made tDCS device while his wife Madge is sport­ing a com­mer­cial mod­el. Pho­to by Kevin Liles/kevindliles.com

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At the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit last month, researcher and sci­ence writer Dr. Anna Wexler dis­cussed some fas­ci­nat­ing insights from her sur­vey of 339 home (or “do-it-your­self”) users of tDCS (tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion) devices.

The sur­vey results have just been pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Cog­ni­tive Enhance­ment (details below), and pro­vide a use­ful win­dow into who pur­chas­es tDCS devices and why, how they use them and what results they see. Read the rest of this entry »

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