Akili Interactive, a startup that has developed a video game to help treat attention-deficit disorders in kids, has agreed to go public through a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check companies.
The deal, which confirms a Bloomberg News report, values the combined entity at about $1 billion, Akili and Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. It will provide as much as $412 million in gross cash proceeds, the companies said. [Read more…] about Digital therapeutics pioneer Akili Interactive plans to go public in mid-2022 at a $1B valuation
The Use of Mobile Games to Assess Cognitive Function of Elderly with and without Cognitive Impairment (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease):
Abstract: In the past few years numerous mobile games have been developed to train the brain. There is a lack of information about the relation between the scores obtained in these games and the cognitive abilities of the patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether or not mobile games can be used to assess cognitive abilities of elderly. Twenty healthy young adults, 29 old patients with cognitive impairments (Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) [Read more…] about Study: Brain training games could be used to assess cognitive abilities, replace the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE)
Good article today in the NYT on “chemo brain” — some typical short-term and long-term cognitive consequences of chemotherapy.
The Fog That Follows Chemotherapy (New York Times)
This quote is critical — for chemo brain and also for a variety of clinical conditions that present associated cognitive impairments: “Controlling for brain function before cancer treatment begins can help determine cause and effect. In one study, cancer patients took a battery of neuropsychological tests before starting chemotherapy, three weeks after completing treatment, and again one year later. Although a third of the patients had signs of cognitive impairment before therapy began, the number jumped to 61 percent after treatment, and half remained impaired a year later.”
As we have discussed before, we believe that inexpensive computerized cognitive assessments will start to become widely available in only a few years, to help set up individualized cognitive baselines and inform clinical diagnoses and treatments. For more, you can read Computerized Cognitive Assessments: opportunities and concerns
Let me summarize ten highlights and reflections from stimulating discussions on cognitive health and assessments I have had this month so far.
January 8–9th: Symposium on Co-Adaptive Learning: Adaptive Technology for the Aging (details Here), organized by the Arizona State University’s Center for Adaptive Neural Systems:
1. Cognitive health is a critical factor in overall healthcare, but is often approached in a fragmented, non-systematic way. Most speakers in the symposium did mention how cognitive health issues interact with their specific areas of focus (aging, Parkinson’s Disease, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s…) but there was a lack of a common framework and taxonomy to define the problem and identify solutions and interventions to measure and help maintain cognitive health across the lifespan.
2. For example, Parkinson’s Disease. Did you know (I didn’t) that a significant percentage of Parkinson’s patients have well-identified cognitive impairments, mostly in their executive functions but also perceptual problems?
3. We truly need a Culture of Cognitive Health, as Randal Koene pointed out.
4. May online cognitive games serve as ongoing, real-time assessment of cognitive function? Misha Pavel thought so. He also added we may well see “cognitive exercise coaches” sometime in the horizon.
5. Skip Rizzo presented how virtual reality can help address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and even to administer innovative cognitive assessments.
6. My presentation, titled The Emerging Cognitive Fitness Market: Status, Trends and Challenges, is available Here
7. January 22nd: Consumer Reports organized a health summit titled [Read more…] about Ten Reflections on Cognitive Health and Assessments
The article Clumsy kids more likely to become obese adults: study (CBC)…
- “The study was based on tests of about 11,000 people in Britain who were tested for hand control, co-ordination and clumsiness at age seven and 11, and were then followed until age 33.”
- “Prof. Scott Montgomery of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and his colleagues at Imperial College London in England said they purposely chose measurements of fine hand control such as picking up matches, rather than those likely to be influenced by participating in sports, such as catching balls.”
- “While it is often assumed that the cognitive impairments seen in adult obesity are a consequence of excess weight, that could be putting the chicken before the egg, the researchers say”
- “The main message of cognitive therapy overall, and its application in the diet world, is straight-forward: problems losing weight are not one’s fault. Problems simply reflect lack of skills–skills that can be acquired and mastered through practice. [Read more…] about Obesity Crisis or Cognitive Crisis?