Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Neuroengineering meets neuroethics to address treatment-resistant depression

Dr. Maryam Shanechi. Cred­it: USC Viter­bi

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Is This the Future of Men­tal Health? (USC Viter­bi School of Engi­neer­ing):

Brain–machine inter­faces (BMIs) pro­vide a direct path­way to the brain to trans­late brain sig­nals into actions … Below, Shanechi (Note: Maryam Shanechi, PhD, assis­tant pro­fes­sor of elec­tri­cal and com­put­er engi­neer­ing) answers some ques­tions about her work and what the future might hold for our under­stand­ing and treat­ment of men­tal dis­or­ders.

What poten­tial does this hold for the future not just of men­tal health, but of under­stand­ing our brains as a whole?

Neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders are a major cause of dis­abil­i­ty world­wide with depres­sive dis­or­ders being the most dis­abling among them. About 30% of major depres­sion patients are treat­ment-resis­tant – that’s about 5 mil­lion peo­ple in the US alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds psychiatric diagnoses to be ‘scientifically meaningless’

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Psy­chi­atric diag­no­sis ‘sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly mean­ing­less’ (Sci­ence Dai­ly):

A new study, pub­lished in Psy­chi­a­try Research, has con­clud­ed that psy­chi­atric diag­noses are sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly worth­less as tools to iden­ti­fy dis­crete men­tal health dis­or­ders.

The study, led by researchers from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Liv­er­pool, involved a detailed analy­sis of five key chap­ters of the lat­est edi­tion of the wide­ly used Diag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­u­al (DSM), on ‘schiz­o­phre­nia’, ‘bipo­lar dis­or­der’, ‘depres­sive dis­or­ders’, ‘anx­i­ety dis­or­ders’ and ‘trau­ma-relat­ed dis­or­ders’ Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps treat depression–especially among women–but benefits are declining steadily

CBT

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Researchers have found that CBT is rough­ly half as effec­tive in treat­ing depres­sion as it used to be (The Guardian):

Every­body loves cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py. It’s the no-non­sense, quick and rel­a­tive­ly cheap approach to men­tal suffering…So it was unset­tling to learn, from a paper in the jour­nal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Bul­letin, that it seems to be get­ting less effec­tive over time. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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