Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Welcoming “Como Investir no Seu Cérebro?”

It is a plea­sure to announce the pub­li­ca­tion of the Por­tuguese edi­tion of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, by Edições Sílabo, and with a beau­ti­ful pref­ace by Dr. Alexan­dre Cas­tro Cal­das, Direc­tor of the Health Sci­ences Insti­tute in Lis­bon!

If you speak Por­tuguese here’s a great book on brain health and brain fit­ness (lit­er­al­ly, the title means “How to invest in your brain,” same as in the Span­ish edi­tion).

SINOPSE (in Portuguese):

Todos sabe­mos que deve­mos inve­stir na nos­sa saúde, na nos­sa edu­cação, na nos­sa car­reira profis­sion­al, em planos de poupança. Mas poucos sabem porque e como inve­stir no nos­so mais impor­tante recur­so: o cére­bro.

Numa área tão apaixo­nante e nova como é a da ciên­cia do cére­bro, este livro é um guia estim­u­lante e práti­co, com valiosa infor­mação e con­sel­hos úteis para que o leitor pos­sa mel­ho­rar o rendi­men­to atu­al e futuro do seu cére­bro, enrique­cen­do deste modo a sua qual­i­dade de vida e saúde men­tal.

«(…) Este livro não é só mais um livro descreven­do as funções cere­brais, pelo con­trário ele revê com rig­or cien­tí­fi­co a lit­er­atu­ra atu­al, chaman­do a atenção para as fontes de infor­mação que são mais fidedig­nas — cuida­do com as notí­cias dos jor­nais! — e trazen­do as respostas dos próprios autores num diál­o­go sim­ples. Em tem­pos li algures que nos fal­ta­va um livro de instruções para cuidar­mos de nós próprios e do enorme val­or daqui­lo que pos­suí­mos em ter­mos de com­petên­cia men­tal. Aqui fica uma impor­tante con­tribuição para esse obje­ti­vo. (…) Leiam, então, este pre­cioso livro e pre­parem-se para os próx­i­mos capí­tu­los.»
— Alexan­dre Cas­tro Cal­das, Pro­fes­sor Cat­e­dráti­co de Neu­rolo­gia Uni­ver­si­dade Católi­ca de Lis­boa. Direc­tor do Insti­tu­to de Ciên­cias da Saúde.


To order the book:

Update: Think twice before taking Adderall as cognitive enhancer — it may worsen your working memory


Dear read­er,

It’s time for Sharp­Brains month­ly e-newslet­ter, start­ing in this occa­sion with an impor­tant arti­cle by Duke University’s Dr. David Rabin­er rais­ing con­cerns about the grow­ing non-med­ical use of ADHD drugs.

New research:

New tools:

New thinking:


Last but not least, as you prob­a­bly know Sep­tem­ber is World Alzheimer’s Month. We’d like to help improve pub­lic knowl­edge about brain health and Alzheimer’s risk fac­tors by mak­ing The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize your Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age eas­i­er to access and read.

From tomor­row Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 29th, until Mon­day, Octo­ber 1st, we’ll be run­ning a Kin­dle Count­down Deal via Ama­zon in which you can order the book with dis­counts of up to 90%.

We hope you enjoy the book and it helps you pro­tect your most impor­tant asset: your amaz­ing human brain.

–> To order in the US, click Here

–> To order in the UK, click Here

–> To order in oth­er coun­tries, click Here


Have a great month of Octo­ber,


The Sharp­Brains Team


New book explores nine lives impacted by rare brain disorders

Sev­er­al years ago, sci­ence writer Helen Thom­son, con­sul­tant to New Sci­en­tist and con­trib­u­tor to the Wash­ing­ton Post and Nature, decid­ed to trav­el around the world to inter­view peo­ple with “the most extra­or­di­nary brains.” In the process, as described in Unthink­able: An Extra­or­di­nary Jour­ney Through the World’s Strangest Brains (Ecco/Harper Collins 2018), Thomas dis­cov­ered that “by putting their lives side-by-side, I was able to cre­ate a pic­ture of how the brain func­tions in us all. Through their sto­ries, I uncov­ered the mys­te­ri­ous man­ner in which the brain can shape our lives in unexpected—and, some cas­es, bril­liant and alarm­ing ways.” Thom­son wasn’t just learn­ing about the most extra­or­di­nary brains in the world, but in the process was “uncov­er­ing the secrets of my own.” Keep read­ing book review Here, over at the Dana Foun­da­tion.

Epigenetics research opens potential door to prevent neurodevelopmental disorders

Sai Ma, for­mer Vir­ginia Tech bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing Ph.D. stu­dent, and Chang Lu, the Fred W. Bull pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at Vir­ginia Tech. Cred­it: Vir­ginia Tech


Epi­ge­net­ic Changes Guide Devel­op­ment of Dif­fer­ent Brain Regions (Dana Foun­da­tion):

It’s one of the great­est stand­ing mys­ter­ies in neu­ro­science: Giv­en that each cell in the human body con­tains the same DNA, how, exact­ly, does the brain devel­op into dis­tinct func­tion­al regions, sup­port­ed by dif­fer­ent cell types? And how might that devel­op­men­tal pro­gram go awry, result­ing in neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­ders like schiz­o­phre­nia or autism? The answers may be the epigenome Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds clear–yet surprisingly different–benefits in 3 types of meditation-based mental training


As cit­i­zens of the 21st cen­tu­ry, we face many prob­lems that come with an indus­tri­al­ized and glob­al­ized world. I’m not a lawyer or a politi­cian, but a psy­chol­o­gist and neu­ro­sci­en­tist. So research on how to train help­ful men­tal and social capac­i­ties is my way to con­tribute to a more healthy, com­mu­nal, and coop­er­a­tive civ­i­liza­tion.

For the past five years, that research has tak­en the form of the ReSource Project, one of the longest and most com­pre­hen­sive stud­ies on the effects of med­i­ta­tion-based men­tal train­ing to date. Lots of research treats the con­cept of med­i­ta­tion as a sin­gle prac­tice, when in fact med­i­ta­tion encom­pass­es a diver­si­ty of men­tal prac­tices that train dif­fer­ent skills and dif­fer­ent parts of the brain. Our goal was to study the spe­cif­ic effects of 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 and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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