The prevalence of dementia in the United States is declining among people over age 65, falling dramatically from 2000 to 2016, a RAND Corp. study says.
Nationwide, the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia fell to 8.5% of people over age 65 in 2016, down by nearly one-third from 12.2% of people over age 65 in 2000, according to the researchers. [Read more…] about Study finds sharp decrease (nearly one-third) in the prevalence of dementia among those 65+ in the United States
A new reason to build muscle: brain health (The Globe and Mail):
… a recent study from researchers at McGill University, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, offers a new reason for continuing to work on building muscle: It’s good for your brain, not just your biceps. Greater muscle mass, the results suggest, helps ward off cognitive decline in older adults beyond what you’d expect based on their exercise levels alone. [Read more…] about Study: Building muscle mass helps delay cognitive decline beyond the value of exercise itself
Akili Interactive is the latest company to go public via SPAC deal (Boston Business Journal):
Boston’s Akili Interactive Labs Inc. is the latest Massachusetts-based company to go public after completing a reverse merger — in a year of market turmoil that saw few local firms passing the threshold between private and public status.
Shares of Akili started trading on Monday on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the new ticker symbol “AKLI” after the company completed its previously announced reverse merger with Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I (Nasdaq: DNAA), a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. [Read more…] about Digital therapeutics pioneer Akili Interactive Labs goes public, raising $150M+; trades down 49% first day
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring timely brain & mental health news and a fun brain teaser to put your temporal lobes to good use 🙂
“Here, we estimated the impact of different types of screen time (watching, socializing, or gaming) on children’s intelligence while controlling for the confounding effects of genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic status … Broadly, our results are in line with research on the malleability of cognitive abilities from environmental factors, such as cognitive training and the Flynn effect.”
Fascinating! Having said that…
“Social interaction is hugely important. One study found that the size of our social group is actually associated with the volume of the orbitofrontal cortex (involved in social cognition and emotion). But how many friends do we need? … It is hard to argue with the fact that humans are social animals and gain enjoyment from connecting with others, whatever age we are. But, as we are increasingly uncovering, it also crucial for the health of our cognition.”
“Some people do very well in training, such as playing a video game, but they don’t show near transfer, perhaps because they are using highly specific strategies,” said first author Anja Pahor … “For these people, far transfer is unlikely. By better understanding why this type of memory training or ‘intervention’ works for some people but not others, we can move forward with a new generation of working-memory training games or use approaches that are more tailored to individuals’ needs”
“In our ongoing large-scale study (note: the one right above) we aim to recruit 30,000 adults who are motivated and willing to help us better understand the factors that underlie learning outcomes using a variety of training paradigms and outcome measures. Our endeavor will ultimately contribute to the personalization of cognitive training so that, hopefully, anyone who would like to improve their cognitive functioning will be able to choose the approach that may fit them best.” — researchers Susanne Jaeggi, Anja Pahor, Aaron Seitz @ UC Irvine/ Riverside
Esports are borrowing a page from Pro Sports’ book … we wouldn’t be surprised to see the inverse taking place too in just a few years.
“For those without severe mental illness, app-based therapy may be helpful in matching clients with a professional familiar with a range of problems and stressors. This makes apps attractive to those with anxiety and mild to moderate depression. They also appeal to people who wouldn’t ordinarily seek out office-based therapy, but who want help with life issues such as marital problems and work-related stress.”
#8. And here’s the Brain Teaser: Ready to stimulate those neurons in your temporal lobes?
Wishing you and yours a healthy and fun summer!
Why do we get a buzz from being in large groups at festivals, jubilees and other public events? According to the social brain hypothesis, it’s because the human brain specifically evolved to support social interactions. Studies have shown that belonging to a group can lead to improved wellbeing and increased satisfaction with life.
Unfortunately though, many people are lonely or socially isolated. [Read more…] about Large neuroimaging study finds social isolation to be an early indicator of increased dementia risk
Many parents feel guilty when their children play video games for hours on end. Some even worry it could make their children less clever. And, indeed, that’s a topic scientists have clashed over for years.
In our new study, we investigated how video games affect the minds of children, interviewing and testing more than 5,000 children aged ten to 12. And the results, published in Scientific Reports, will be surprising to some. [Read more…] about Study finds that playing videogames may be more cognitively beneficial for children than other forms of screentime (social media, watching videos/ TV)