Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Technology and the Cognition Crisis

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Our lives on this plan­et have improved in so many amaz­ing ways over the last cen­tu­ry. On aver­age, we are now health­i­er, more afflu­ent and lit­er­ate, less vio­lent and longer liv­ing. Despite these unprece­dent­ed pos­i­tive changes, clear signs exist that we are in the midst of an emerg­ing crisis–one that has not yet been rec­og­nized in its full breadth, even though it lurks just beneath the sur­face of our casu­al con­ver­sa­tions and swims in the under­cur­rents of our news feeds. This is not the well-known cri­sis that we’ve induced upon the earth’s cli­mate, but one that is just as threat­en­ing to our future. This is a cri­sis of our minds. A cog­ni­tion cri­sis Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive training, diet, exercise, and vascular management seen to improve cognition even in people with genetic predisposition for dementia (APOE e4)

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How do genet­ics impact ear­ly inter­ven­tion for demen­tia? (Med­ical News Bul­letin):

Car­dio­vas­cu­lar and neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases, such as demen­tia, have been linked to dys­func­tion of a vari­a­tion of the apolipopro­tein E, or APOE, gene, called the APOE e4 allele…The Finnish Geri­atric Inter­ven­tion Study to Pre­vent Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment and Dis­abil­i­ty (FINGER) eval­u­at­ed whether the effec­tive­ness of lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tions for those at risk of Alzheimer’s dis­ease would be dif­fer­ent for those with or with­out the APOE e4 gene. Read the rest of this entry »

Study combines MRI brain scans with statistics to better predict cognitive problems after stroke

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New ‘brain health index’ can pre­dict how well patients will do after stroke (Sci­enceDai­ly):

A new com­put­er pro­gramme devel­oped by sci­en­tists at the Uni­ver­si­ties of Edin­burgh and Glas­gow can assess whole brain dete­ri­o­ra­tion and help pre­dict cog­ni­tive func­tion after stroke up to ten times more accu­rate­ly than cur­rent meth­ods.

The new approach, pub­lished today in the Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Stroke, can quan­ti­fy vis­i­ble brain injury from cere­bral small ves­sel dis­ease (SVD) and brain atro­phy by Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Mind-wandering may help enhance creativity, job performance and general well-being, studies show

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When writ­ing a song or a piece of prose, I often choose to let my mind wan­der, hop­ing the muse will strike. If it does, it not only moves my work along but feels great, too!

That’s why I was trou­bled by stud­ies that found an asso­ci­a­tion between mind-wan­der­ing and prob­lems like unhap­pi­ness and depression—and even a short­er life expectan­cy. This research sug­gests that focus­ing one’s thoughts on the present moment is linked to well-being, while spac­ing out—which I per­son­al­ly love to do—is not.

Now, new stud­ies are bring­ing nuance to this sci­ence. 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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