Researchers found patients who used CCBT in addition to regular treatment led to “significantly greater improvement” on the Patient Health Questionnaire–9, used to screen for and measure depressive symptoms. Those results also held up over time.
“Results of this study show that treatment for depression in primary care can be enhanced by the addition of CCBT to TAU [treatment as usual],” the study’s authors wrote. “After 12 weeks of acute treatment, CCBT significantly outperformed TAU in reducing PHQ‑9 scores; these positive results were maintained over the 3- and 6‑month follow-up intervals. Remission rates were more than double for CCBT compared with TAU at all time points.” [Read more…] about Computer-assisted cognitive behavior therapy (CCBT) may outperform Treatment as Usual (TAU) in helping patients reduce depression, improve 6‑month remission rates
Until recently, mental health was a relative blip on the radar of venture capitalists. But over the past few years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, private investors have made a dramatic run for this space, pouring $3.1 billion into mental health ventures by the third quarter of 2021 alone, according to Rock Health, a seed fund that supports startups working in digital health. That represents a third of all digital health funding for 2021, more than 7 times the amount of funding placed in such ventures in 2015. [Read more…] about APA: With digital mental health going mainstream, will/ should psychologists be able to “prescribe” interventions?
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring eight timely scientific and industry news plus a few fun teasers to appreciate our unique human brains.
“None of us thinks that our beliefs and attitudes are incorrect; if we did, we obviously wouldn’t hold those beliefs and attitudes. Yet, despite our sense that we are usually correct, we must accept that our views may sometimes turn out to be wrong. This kind of humility isn’t simply virtuous—the research suggests that it results in better decisions, relationships, and outcomes. So, the next time you feel certain about something, you might stop and ask yourself: Could I be wrong?”
#3. Should older politicians, and other leaders, undergo cognitive testing? The debate continues … here are some good comments from the online debate we had last summer:
- PRO: “Definitely. We routinely screen applicants for a wide range of jobs. Apply for the police, you will be tested. Join the military, you will be evaluated. Should we not know if a candidate for the highest position in the country has a serious emotional, intellectual or psychological impairment?”
- CON: “I disagree because these tests are very bad at predicting how good someone would be in leading a country. It doesn’t require the ability to store a lot of information in your working memory. Being a good leader requires only one essential thing: having the right priorities.”
- IT DEPENDS: “Who makes the test? What cognitive metrics do we use? The biases in that design could lead to significant unexpected or even intentionally skewed results.”
What a year for Click and for digital therapeutics!
The road to heaven is paved with good decisions…
“The word psychedelic means ‘mind-manifesting,’ but what has been missing is useful ‘mind-imaging’—the ability to dynamically trace the neural correlates of human conscious experience. Conventional neuroimaging just isn’t dynamic enough to study the psychedelic experience in the brain as it happens. This study of ketamine’s psychedelic effects while wearing headgear equipped with sensors to record brain activity could open up new frontiers of understanding” — Dr. Alex Belser, Cybin’s Chief Clinical Officer
“analyzing EEGs is labor intensive and interpretation of these tests can vary from one clinician to another..…Beacon Biosignals has assembled what it claims is one of the world’s largest clinical EEG databases. By applying its proprietary machine-learning algorithms to the database, the company says it has identified neurobiomarkers—biological indicators that are associated with certain groups of patients, drug activity, and therapeutic efficacy.”
Not good, yet completely predictable, and let’s remember this is for a “treatment” costing as much as $100,000/ year with exactly ZERO proven clinical benefit: “…The researchers found 425 cases in the combined aducanumab group experienced ARIA (41.3%), and ARIA-edema was identified in 362 patients or 35.2%. Of them, 94 (26%) had symptoms, such as headache, confusion, dizziness and nausea. They found ARIA-microhemorrhage and ARIA-superficial siderosis in 197 patients (19.1%) and 151 patients (14.7%), respectively.”
Q: What does, “you must come and visit us sometime!” actually mean?
Wishing you and yours a Happy & Healthy Hanukkah, December and Christmas,
The SharpBrains Team
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
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring this time eight scientific reports and industry resources plus a few fun brain teasers.
“Girls who spent less than an hour on screens and boys who spent less than 90 minutes on screens were not negatively impacted by it. But at higher amounts of screen time, their life satisfaction dropped significantly—they were less happy with their lives, and it got worse the more time they spent … (the) study also found that teens who got more regular exercise had greater life satisfaction and fewer physical complaints for both genders. Not only that, the effects were largely unrelated to how much time a teen spent on screens, so that if teens exercised more, it could potentially undo the damage to their well-being that went along with even six or eight hours of screen time.”
‘Obesity and depression are both major global health challenges, and our study provides the most robust evidence to date that higher BMI causes depression,’ said lead author Jess O’Loughlin. ‘Understanding whether physical or social factors are responsible for this relationship can help inform effective strategies to improve mental health and wellbeing.’
Let’s hope! — “I think Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will continue to be adapted for more problems, diagnoses, and conditions. We will train many kinds of caregivers, teachers, front-line workers, police, and even politicians.”
“We discovered that the most predictive model – representing the most common mode of city navigation – was not the quickest path, but instead one that tried to minimize the angle between the direction a person is moving and the line from the person to their destination … Evolution is a story of trade-offs, not optimizations, and the cognitive load of calculating a perfect path rather than relying on the simpler pointing method might not be worth a few saved minutes. After all, early humans had to preserve brain power for dodging stampeding elephants, just like people today might need to focus on avoiding aggressive SUVs.”
“Designed with the help of Dutch academic Isabela Granic … the game is centred around an avatar who stays in bed for the day and aims to relax players by using soothing music, muted colours and self-care practices. Think meditative tasks such as word games and guided breathing exercises. There’s no way to win, compete or binge – in fact, it deliberately starts to feel boring after a few minutes of play, which disincentivizes mindless scrolling. #SelfCare was an instant hit, garnering half a million downloads in its first six weeks without any advertising…”
“What made this proof-of-principle trial successful was the discovery of a neural biomarker – a specific pattern of brain activity that indicates the onset of symptoms – and the team’s ability to customize a new DBS device to respond only when it recognizes that pattern. The device then stimulates a different area of the brain circuit, creating on-demand, immediate therapy that is unique to both the patient’s brain and the neural circuit causing her illness.”
“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?”
“With data breaches on the rise, the FTC is looking to make health apps more accountable for telling patients when their data has been exposed.”
Wishing you and yours a sweet Halloween and a healthy month of November,
The SharpBrains Team
A large-scale study from the University of Exeter has found ‘robust evidence’ that being overweight hikes up your risk of developing depression – but as fresh evidence confirms, logging your morning miles is one of the most effective ways to fight back. Exercise jolts your brain into action, and not just because of the endorphin high … ‘Obesity and depression are both major global health challenges, and our study provides the most robust evidence to date that higher BMI causes depression,’ said lead author Jess O’Loughlin. ‘Understanding whether physical or social factors are responsible for this relationship can help inform effective strategies to improve mental health and wellbeing.’ [Read more…] about Studies find growing evidence linking weight, physical activity, neuroplasticity and depression