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
Geisinger and Eisai Inc. today announced a collaborative effort to study the potential effectiveness of an artificial intelligence (AI) tool in the detection of cognitive impairment that could identify dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). If effective, the AI tool could potentially be developed to support the early detection and staging of cognitive impairment and dementia, leading to appropriate additional testing for the clinical, biological diagnosis and treatment of dementias such as AD. [Read more…] about Geisinger and Eisai to test real-world validity of AI-powered Passive Digital Marker (PDM) in detecting early cognitive impairment and dementia
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
How does your hearing affect dementia risk? (Alzheimer’s Research UK):
With around 1 million people affected by dementia in the UK, and 12 million people estimated to have a type of hearing loss, it’s never been more important to understand this link.
One way that hearing loss and dementia could be linked is through our blood system. [Read more…] about Exploring links between hearing loss, dementia and the ‘cognitive reserve’ — plus the role of hearing aids
The percentage of older Americans reporting serious problems with memory and thinking has declined in recent years — and higher education levels may be part of the reason, a new study finds. [Read more…] about Study: Education and lifestyle helped over a million older Americans avoid serious cognitive problems in 2017
The approval of a controversial new drug for Alzheimer’s disease, Aduhelm, is shining a spotlight on mild cognitive impairment — problems with memory, attention, language or other cognitive tasks that exceed changes expected with normal aging.
After initially indicating that Aduhelm could be prescribed to anyone with dementia, the Food and Drug Administration now specifies that the prescription drug be given to individuals with mild cognitive impairment or early-stage Alzheimer’s, the groups in which the medication was studied.
Yet this narrower recommendation raises questions. What does a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment mean? Is Aduhelm appropriate for all people with mild cognitive impairment, or only some? And who should decide which patients qualify for treatment: dementia specialists or primary care physicians? [Read more…] about Six guidelines to navigate the Aduhelm controversy and (hopefully) help patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease