Electroencephalography is a decades-old technique for capturing brain activity, data that are used to evaluate brain disorders. Beacon Biosignals is applying artificial intelligence to these tests, and the neurotechnology startup has found a ready market in pharmaceutical companies interested in assessing how their experimental brain therapies are working. Now Beacon Biosignals has something else: $27 million in financing. [Read more…] about Beacon Biosignals raises $27M to scale EEG, AI-based neurobiomarker discovery platform
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring nine scientific reports and industry developments to help promote lifelong brain health.
#1. A must-read, and must-practice: Promote brain plasticity and keep your mind at ease by taking your daily “exercise pill”
#2. If cognitive stimulation came in a pill it’d be worth a quadrillion, give or take a few trillions: Study finds that cognitive activity in old age may delay the onset of dementia by 5 years
#3. “A young child with low cognitive control is also more likely to develop anxiety later on in childhood, while one with a higher capacity will be more resilient to stress. Raising cognitive control could both treat anxiety in young children and potentially prevent it from becoming worse over time” — Helping young brains fight off anxiety by training and raising cognitive control
“In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the U.S. – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene. But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.”
“The stress of the pandemic has made an existing mental health crisis even more alarming. We’re seeing this firsthand in adolescents in classrooms across the country and in adults who are reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression at a rate four times pre-pandemic levels” — Ian Chiu, Managing Director at Owl Ventures
“The study demonstrates for the first time the beneficial neurobehavioral effect of a single NFB session in adult ADHD, and reinforces the notion that Event-related potentials (ERPs) could serve as useful diagnostic/prognostic markers of executive dysfunction.”
“Currently, early diagnosis of high-risk CP offers the opportunity for early intervention at a critical developmental plasticity window. The earlier we intervene, the better the outcome is.”
“Support for mental health has needed improvement for many years in the UK. The pathways for accessing services are convoluted, waiting lists are extensive, and outcomes are poor over the long term … Coming up with new ways to maintain good mental health, in a preventative way, will be as essential as providing tools for acute care and we believe technology has a significant role to play.” — Dr Peter Bloomfield, FCC’s head of Policy and Research
Wishing you a happy and healthy month of August,
The SharpBrains Team
NB: Please remember that, if you’re looking for some fun and varied cognitive exercise, you can always try these 25 Brain Teasers, Puzzles & Games that SharpBrains readers have enjoyed the most.
Managing attention deficit disorder by training the brain (ScienceDaily):
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects about 7% of children, with a two out of three chance of persisting into adulthood. This neurodevelopmental disorder is characterised by concentration difficulties, increased distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Today, ADHD is treated with pharmaceutical drugs that may have unwanted side effects. This is why scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, explored a new technique called ‘neurofeedback’, which enables ADHD patients to train their attention, based on instant feedback from the level of their brain activity. [Read more…] about Study shows promising results of EEG-based brain training in helping adults with ADHD
Belfast-based Cumulus raises €6.9m for its ‘Fitbit for the brain’ (The Irish Times):
… Formerly known as BrainWaveBank, the company has developed a wireless electroencephalogram (EEG) headset and proprietary software platform that use advanced analytics and machine learning to measure cognitive fitness.
“This funding will allow us to build on the ground-breaking advances we have made in remote, frequent monitoring of brain activity and cognitive function in the home, in partnership with leading developers of digital biomarkers,” said Mr Cunningham, the company’s chief executive. [Read more…] about Cumulus Neuroscience raises $8.3M to develop EEG-based wireless ‘Fitbit for the brain’
Wearable Device Clears a First ‘Milestone’ in Seizure Detection (Medscape; requires subscription):
A wrist-worn device that uses machine learning accurately detects different seizure types in findings that have the potential to revolutionize the management of patients with epilepsy.
“We have set a first benchmark for automatic detection of a variety of epileptic seizures using wearable sensors and deep-learning algorithms. In other words, we have shown for the first time that it’s possible to do this,” study investigator Jianbin Tang, MA, Data Science Project Lead, IBM Research Australia, Victoria, told Medscape Medical News. [Read more…] about Study: Wearable sensors and machine learning may well (one day) help detect a broad range of epileptic seizures
Scientists have been studying biological signs of depression in the brain, looking for markers that could be used to identify the disorder. A team of scientists recently developed a technique using machine learning that can identify whether a given patient’s brain scan shows one of depression’s neural signatures [Read more…] about Machine learning study finds standardized brain scan biomarker to detect depression with 66% accuracy