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Reinventing Brain Medicine, Pharma adopts Digital Therapeutics: Evidence-based videogames, smartphone apps, and sensors

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From app store to drug store, dig­i­tal health is redefin­ing pharma’s pipeline (STAT):

The pitch­es always sound­ed promis­ing: A new soft­ware app could track glu­cose lev­els for peo­ple with dia­betes or soothe the brains of insom­ni­acs. Most phar­ma exec­u­tives would polite­ly smile and nod, but then park their mon­ey some­where else.

Not any­more. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan Samzelius, CEO of Brainnovations Winner NeuraMetrix, encourages pioneers to focus on “simple, elegant solutions to big problems”

What sur­prised you the most from the Judges’ ques­tions and feed­back dur­ing the Brain­no­va­tions Pitch Con­test last month?

Even with only a brief pre­sen­ta­tion the judges imme­di­ate­ly got the poten­tial impact of our tech­nol­o­gy to mea­sure and mon­i­tor brain health and began to think about oth­er appli­ca­tions for us – sev­er­al we had not thought about. That was fun.

In a nut­shell, what is the core idea behind Neu­raMetrix?

Typ­ing Cadence is among the strongest habit we have. If the brain is attacked by a dis­ease, the habit will begin to break – very slow­ly and in very small incre­ments. Our way of mea­sur­ing is so sen­si­tive that we can pick up changes at the lev­el of 1/100th of sec­ond – many orders of mag­ni­tude bet­ter than today’s tools.

When and how did the idea come to you?

Com­ing from data secu­ri­ty, our first idea was to use typ­ing cadence for authen­ti­ca­tion, and then were alert­ed to the brain health appli­ca­tion by an out­sider. Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds limited benefits from cognitive bias modification (CBM) training, calls for further research

Faces along a pos­i­tive-neu­tral to neg­a­tive-neu­tral spec­trum, and a sad face, from Peters et al. (2017)‘s CBM for facial inter­pre­ta­tion train­ing. Cred­it: Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol

Could cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tions be use­ful in treat­ing depres­sion? (Sci­ence News):

A new study by exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol has exam­ined whether cog­ni­tive bias mod­i­fi­ca­tion (CBM) for facial inter­pre­ta­tion, a dig­i­tal health inter­ven­tion that changes our per­cep­tion for emo­tion­al expres­sions from neg­a­tive to pos­i­tive, might be use­ful in treat­ing depres­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

Pending FDA review and approval, research findings pave way for Akili’s EVO to become first brain training platform prescribed for ADHD

Akili Achieves Pri­ma­ry Effi­ca­cy End­point in ADHD Tri­al (MD mag­a­zine):

Boston-based Akili Inter­ac­tive has announced top-line results from the STARS-ADHD piv­otal study of its inves­ti­ga­tion­al dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic med­i­cine AKL-T01, in treat­ment of pedi­atric atten­tion-deficit/hy­per­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD)…The dig­i­tal med­i­cine, AKL-T01, is a video game for patients to play on tablet devices. It uses the same sto­ry­telling and reward mech­a­nisms as stan­dard videogames; how­ev­er, it fea­tures mech­a­nisms to act on neur­al sys­tems and algo­rithms that dial the lev­el of stim­u­lus up or down, meet­ing the needs of the patient. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing American football before age 12 is linked to long-term neuropsychiatric and cognitive problems

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Tack­le foot­ball before age 12 may boost risks of cog­ni­tive, mood dis­or­ders (Ars Tech­ni­ca):

Tak­ing hard knocks ear­ly in life could shove foot­ball play­ers toward neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems lat­er, a new study sug­gests.

Among 214 for­mer ama­teur and pro­fes­sion­al male foot­ball play­ers, those who start­ed play­ing early—particularly before the age of 12—had greater risks of report­ing depres­sion and impaired behav­ioral reg­u­la­tion and exec­u­tive func­tion around their 50s, researchers found Read the rest of this entry »

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