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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Persistence pays off: After 8‑year follow-up, study finds robust and sustained antidepressant response to deep brain stimulation (DBS)

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Long-Term Fol­low-Up Data Shows Deep Brain Stim­u­la­tion Is an Effec­tive Treat­ment for Treat­ment-Resis­tant Depres­sion (Mount Sinai press release):

A study pub­lished online on Fri­day, Octo­ber 4, in The Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Psy­chi­a­try found that deep brain stim­u­la­tion (DBS) of an area in the brain called the sub­cal­los­al cin­gu­late (SCC) pro­vides a robust anti­de­pres­sant effect that is sus­tained over a long peri­od of time in patients with treat­ment-resis­tant depres­sion Read the rest of this entry »

Witnessing an explosion of consumer-facing neurotechnologies to (potentially) harness lifelong neuroplasticity

Last week I shared some key sci­en­tif­ic, tech­no­log­i­cal and invest­ment trends rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing Brain Health, based on my par­tic­i­pa­tion at the 2016 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit, and promised a sec­ond arti­cle more focused on the tech­nol­o­gy side of things.

Here it is 🙂

Just a few weeks after the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit I also attend­ed CES 2017. While I enjoyed the myr­i­ad emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies –autonomous vehi­cles, robot­ics, drones, aug­ment­ed and vir­tu­al real­i­ty head­sets, voice acti­vat­ed every­thing– I was most­ly struck by a firm named Halo Neu­ro­science. They have a fas­ci­nat­ing wear­able prod­uct, Halo Sport, claim­ing to accel­er­ate gains in strength, explo­sive­ness, endurance, and mus­cle mem­o­ry, improv­ing the brain’s response to ath­let­ic train­ing. It uses tDCS (tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion), essen­tial­ly prim­ing move­ment-relat­ed cir­cuits of the brain to become more recep­tive to stim­uli, help­ing the brain wire in the prac­tice for improved future response.

The cutting edge of applied neuroplasticity

Both con­fer­ences allowed me to see the cut­ting edge of Read the rest of this entry »

Good survey of brain stimulation methods, value and limitations

brain_stimulationStim­u­lat­ing the Brain: From If to How (The Dana Foun­da­tion):

Recent years have brought mod­ern meth­ods of brain stim­u­la­tion into the main­stream of neu­rol­o­gy and psy­chi­a­try. But their mechanism—how exact­ly deep brain stim­u­la­tion (DBS) relieves Parkinson’s dis­ease symp­toms and how repet­i­tive tran­scra­nial mag­net­ic stim­u­la­tion (rTMS) improves depres­sion, for example—remains obscure. Research Read the rest of this entry »

Can Direct Brain Stimulation Boost Performance?

Neu­rons in the brain trans­mit infor­ma­tion by exchang­ing elec­tri­cal and chem­i­cal sig­nals. What would hap­pen if these elec­tri­cal sig­nals were trans­formed by apply­ing an exter­nal cur­rent? Could this help boost brain func­tions?

In this arti­cle, Tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) is report­ed to help peo­ple solve brain-teasers. In the study weak cur­rents altered the activ­i­ty of neu­rons in the ante­ri­or tem­po­ral lobes through elec­trodes on the scalp. Read more

In this oth­er arti­cle anoth­er tech­nique was used: Tran­scra­nial mag­net­ic stim­u­la­tion (TMS). TMS works by gen­er­at­ing a mag­net­ic field that pass­es the scalp and the skull. In the study an explorato­ry use of TMS com­bined with cog­ni­tive train­ing was test­ed for a few months on 8 Alzheimer’s patients. The results were promis­ing. Read more

Final­ly, this arti­cle reports the use of a dif­fer­ent, more inva­sive tech­nique: deep brain stim­u­la­tion (DBS). Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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