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
Giving memory a lift: Can games and brain stimulation do it? (MedicalNewsToday):
A person’s working memory may decline with age or if they have dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or have had a stroke. When this occurs, the loss can affect their day-to-day quality of life, turning even simple tasks into often-demoralizing challenges. [Read more…] about Combined tDCS neurostimulation and cognitive training found to improve working memory among older adults–especially those with lower starting capacity
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring timely brain news and a few fun brain teasers to test your perceptual and cognitive skills.
“While our childhood can influence our memory and thinking skills later in life, this research underlines the message that it’s never too late to take action to support cognitive health.” — Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Strategic Initiatives at Alzheimer’s Research UK
As the researchers point out, “The proposed approach offers a fully automated identification of MCI and dementia based on a recorded neuropsychological test, providing an opportunity to develop a remote screening tool that could be adapted easily to any language”
“Depression is usually managed effectively with antidepressants or by talking treatments, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, despite an incomplete understanding of the condition and how these treatments work. We cannot know if treatments address the underlying problem because we haven’t yet identified what that is. To imply that SSRI antidepressants may not be worthwhile is to misunderstand an evidence base that says the very opposite.”
“Recent events have a bigger impact on happiness than earlier events, so it can be a good strategy to save a couple things that have a chance of a big positive surprise for the last few days of your trip. It could be a novel experience that a lot of people like but you’re not sure what to expect … It probably isn’t another museum. Just make sure it’s not something that could get rained out”
“Many U.S. adults aren’t able to find help because of a shortage of therapists. Nearly 40% are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So millions of people are turning to online companies…”
As acknowledged “The main limitation of the current trial is the high dropout rate”, but context is key: “Most displaced people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries do not receive effective care, and their access to care has deteriorated during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic”. — Innovation doesn’t need to be perfect, just better/ cheaper/ more accessible than alternatives.
Quite difficult market environment for an important evidence-based innovation — good news is they raised enough funds to test approach in the real world over the next 12–24 months. Let’s see!
“Typically, access to a mental health service is gated. It is restricted by some kind of diagnosis — saying only if you are severe enough you will be able to get to speak to a therapist because obviously therapy is expensive and somebody’s got to pay for it” … the app offers “early engagement and a safe space where people can come in and anonymously just talk about what’s bothering them.”
Finally, here are three quick brain teaser games to test your perceptual and cognitive skills. Wishing you and yours a healthy and stimulating month of September!
Voice Recordings Spot Cognitive Impairment (MedPage Today):
A machine-learning model identified mild cognitive impairment and dementia from digital voice recordings of neuropsychological tests, an early study showed.
Among 1,084 people in the Framingham Heart Study whose tests were recorded, the average area under the curve (AUC) reached 92.6% for differentiating normal cognition from dementia, 88.0% for discerning normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment from dementia, and 74.4% for distinguishing normal cognition from mild cognitive impairment. [Read more…] about Fully-automated analysis of voice recordings–from neuropsychological tests–found to help differentiate normal cognition from dementia and mild cognitive impairment
New research suggests that people who develop high ‘cognitive reserve’ by the time they reach 69 years old may reduce their likelihood of memory and thinking decline, even with low childhood cognitive abilities. The study was published today in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [Read more…] about Study: Building cognitive reserve helps delay memory and thinking decline regardless of genetic or childhood markers
On one of our “walk and talks” around the lush trails of Rock Creek Park in DC surrounded by bikers, runners, cars and the occasional deer, Wendy and Lisa talked about aging. Wendy’s mother, who had her children in her early 20s, was still joining the family’s grueling summer hikes with her children and nine grandchildren well into her 60s. Wendy mused about how much older she would be when their kids could have their own kids. It dawned on her that her health was not just a here and now issue, but an investment in that future. We agreed to help each other cultivate the habits and make time to build strength as well as reserves, both physical and mental, for the long-term. Their goal: to enjoy being active in their 40s and 50s while also laying the groundwork to continue being active into their 60s, 70s, and beyond. [Read more…] about New book provides practical guidance for women (and men) to rebalance our lifestyles and build Cognitive Reserve