Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Trend: Growing interest in (and questions around) brain training centers for kids with special needs

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Par­ents pay thou­sands for ‘brain train­ing’ to help kids with ADHD and autism. But does it work? (NBC News):

…As the num­ber of chil­dren diag­nosed with ADHD and autism surges in the U.S., accord­ing to fed­er­al data, and as par­ents become exas­per­at­ed with treat­ments that don’t work or involve med­ica­tions that car­ry the risk of side effects, neu­rotech­nol­o­gy indus­try ana­lysts pre­dict the demand for pro­grams like these will only grow Read the rest of this entry »

Growing debate about the ethics and regulation of direct-to-consumer transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

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Accord­ing to the adver­tis­ing hype, you too can enjoy incred­i­ble neur­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal ben­e­fits in the com­fort of your own home by using a sim­ple elec­tri­cal device that offers tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS). For instance, three dif­fer­ent mod­els of tDCS devices sold online claim to improve mood, increase cre­ativ­i­ty, enhance mem­o­ry, accel­er­ate learn­ing, and com­bat pain and depres­sion. For the low, low price of between $99 and $189.95, you get a com­pact hand­held device with easy-to-use con­trols and two elec­tri­cal leads that end in small sponges. These sponges are dipped into saline solu­tion to make them cur­rent-car­ry­ing elec­trodes, then placed against your head. The web­sites typ­i­cal­ly show the sponges locat­ed on either side of the fore­head, but point out that they need to be placed else­where on the skull to acti­vate dif­fer­ent parts of the brain, depend­ing on the desired out­come.

Wher­ev­er you place the sponges, when you switch on the unit, you’re pump­ing elec­tric cur­rent into your brain, although not very much.

Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Few wearable neurotechnologies have been directly tested by high-quality, peer-reviewed research

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Wear­able brain devices sold with ques­tion­able claims (Com­put­er World):

Wear­able ‘neu­rotech­nol­o­gy’ devices have in recent years hit the main­stream mar­ket; pitched to con­sumers as a way to improve mem­o­ry and atten­tion, boost brain fit­ness and con­trol games and objects with the pow­er of the mind.

An analy­sis of com­mer­cial­ly avail­able wear­able ‘neu­rode­vices’ pub­lished this week in jour­nal Neu­ron has cast doubt on whether their mak­ers can back up such claims. Read the rest of this entry »

Regulating and helping shape the evolving phenomenon of Direct-to-Consumer Neuroscience

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We’re proud to share that our CEO and Edi­tor-in-Chief Alvaro Fer­nan­dez is par­tic­i­pat­ing in a fas­ci­nat­ing and time­ly 2‑day meet­ing, host­ed by The Ban­bury Cen­ter at Cold Spring Har­bor Lab­o­ra­to­ry under the theme The evolv­ing phe­nom­e­non of Direct-to-Con­sumer Neu­ro­science, to help iden­ti­fy and address key open regulatory/ eth­i­cal issues relat­ed to the growth of per­va­sive neu­rotech­nolo­gies and dig­i­tal brain health plat­forms offered/ sold direct­ly to con­sumers.

The event is off-the-record so we won’t be able to blog about it, but here are some resources if inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the gen­er­al con­text for the event: Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

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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