Virtual reality can help treat symptoms in patients with psychosis, according to a new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
GameChangeVR automates psychotherapy, guiding users with a virtual coach. It was developed by OxfordVR, a digital therapeutics company, the University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust … The study, based on 346 patients, found that automated VR therapy led to “significant reductions” in symptoms of anxious avoidance and distress. The technology especially benefited those with severe symptoms. The study concluded that the technology has the potential to increase access to effective care for psychosis. [Read more…] about Study: Automated VR psychotherapy can help reduce anxiety and distress, especially among those with psychosis and severe agoraphobia
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring important brain & mental health news plus a few fun brain teasers to test your reasoning skills and more…
“Technology can not only help us grow out of unhealthy habits, it is also possible to expand human mental capacities … although it will be necessary to analyze “the how and when” of these uses: they must be ethically sound and ensure that results are beneficial to society.” — our very own Álvaro Fernández, hoping you all agree 🙂
If you prefer to read the article in Spanish: Cómo hacer de la tecnología un aliado en el cuidado de la salud mental
“As with any tool, behavior, activity, or technology, smart phones have the potential to be either a useful and highly constructive asset or a destructive and harmful diversion from life … What is the impact on brain development during the first 25 years of life when a significant part of each day is spent looking into a smart phone and the resulting cognitive and emotional experiences?”
“Certain types of dementia, particularly vascular dementia, are caused when there is less blood flow reaching the brain. This can damage our brain cells. Recent studies have also shown that the parts of our brain that process sounds (our auditory system) have many blood vessels and are vulnerable to damage … Another area of research is looking at whether hearing loss indirectly affects dementia risk by making it harder for people to stay connected. Social isolation is another known risk factor for dementia.”
“The findings of this randomized clinical trial suggest that CCBT with a modest amount of clinician support has potential for wider-spread implementation as an effective, acceptable, and efficient treatment for depression in primary care.”
“It is time that EEGs for the brain become as accessible as EKGs for the heart to patients throughout the country. For too long essential neurological services have been inaccessible to large parts of our population” — Dr. Chaudery, Principal at Genoa Ventures (co-lead investor)
“The combination of SST and a pharmaceutical regimen has been proven in studies to reduce the recurrence of mental disorders, the companies said. Their first jointly developed program will be directed toward schizophrenia patients, and they’re predicting that the immersive nature of Jolly Good’s VR will make the SST therapy more engaging and effective than standard methods.”
“Most people have all heard of the fight-or-flight system—that’s the stress system, it makes your heart rate go up and you can run away really fast. Well, people don’t realize that through evolution in parallel with the fight-or-flight system evolved an equal and opposite part of our nervous system that’s nicknamed the “rest-and-digest” part of the nervous system, or parasympathetic nervous system. It’s basically the de-stressing part of our nervous system. That is what we need to activate to bring ourselves back to equilibrium when we’re in a stressful state.”
Finally, as promised, a few fun brain teasers to test your reasoning skills–and more. Enjoy!
#11. Did you notice the jump? Good reasoning and problem-solving often requires proper attention to detail…
Wishing you and yours a healthy and safe March,
The SharpBrains Team
Neuroplasticity and Smart Phones (Psychiatric Times):
In medical school, I was taught that the brain is hardwired at birth. During the past 30 years, neuroscience has definitively shown that this is not the case at all. As our understanding of brain development advanced, it became clear that, during the first 3 years of life, neurons in the brain prolifically form synaptic connections to be prepared for many diverse functional tasks, most of which it will never encounter. From aged 3 years onward, the circuits frequently used strengthen their connections while those serving no function are pruned away. Hence the common phrase, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” [Read more…] about On neuroplasticity, young brains, and smartphones
A recent study shows that work plays an active role in keeping our brains healthy. “We have demonstrated the role of working activity on cognitive performance”. Professor Raffaella Rumiati says … “Many studies have been focused on the factors influencing our brain aging and differences in cognitive decline have been often observed in association with education or other related to quality of life. From our analysis it emerges that the type of work activity also contributes to the differences in normal and pathological cognitive aging”. [Read more…] about Complex occupations help protect our brains from aging-related cognitive decline
A few years ago, I asked a sample of adults to think about all of the disagreements that they have with other people, from minor disagreements about relatively unimportant issues to major disagreements about important matters. Then, I asked them to estimate the percentage of disagreements they have with other people in which they are the one who is correct.
Only 4% of the respondents indicated they were right less than half of the time, and only 14% said they were right half of the time. The vast majority—a whopping 82%—reported that, when they disagreed with other people, they were usually the one who was right! (Pause a moment to ask yourself the same question: In what percentage of the disagreements that you have with other people are you the one who’s right?) [Read more…] about Could I be wrong? Exploring research on cognitive bias, curiosity, intellectual humility, and lifelong learning
Another medtech developer’s plans to create digital therapeutics to treat a wide range of illnesses are clicking into place, thanks to a third multimillion-dollar investment in Click Therapeutics in barely a year. [Read more…] about Click Therapeutics raises further $52M to build up digital therapeutics pipeline for depression, insomnia, smoking cessation and more