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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Is ADHD overdiagnosed? Findings from a new study in Germany

Is ADHD over­diag­nosed? Despite wide­spread con­cerns that this occurs, a study that specif­i­cal­ly address­es this issue has not been con­duct­ed in the US. Thus, although it is well estab­lished that many chil­dren with ADHD are nev­er iden­ti­fied or treat­ed, the extent to which chil­dren are incor­rect­ly diag­nosed with ADHD is not known. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis (and a Call to eBook Readers)

You may have  noticed that Amazon.com is shar­ing aggre­gat­ed data on how ebook read­ers inter­act with the books they are read­ing. For exam­ple, the “Pop­u­lar High­lights” sec­tion (towards the bot­tom of our Kin­dle book page) ranks the Top 10 sen­tences that Kin­dle read­ers have high­light­ed and shared while read­ing The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (April 2009; 182 pages; ranked #1 in Kin­dle Store’s Pre­ven­tive Med­i­cine sec­tion).

This infor­ma­tion is invalu­able to authors and pub­lish­ers — as you can imag­ine, we’ll make sure to not only main­tain but to elab­o­rate on these top­ics as we pre­pare future edi­tions of the book.

So, what are so far the Top Ten Quotes on Life­long Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, Read the rest of this entry »

Long-term effects of neurofeedback treatment for ADHD

Neu­ro­feed­back — also known as EEG Biofeed­back — is an approach for treat­ing ADHD in which indi­vid­u­als are pro­vid­ed real-time feed­back on their brain­wave pat­terns and taught to pro­duce and main­tain pat­terns con­sis­tent with a focused, atten­tive state. This is often done by col­lect­ing brain­wave, i.e., EEG, data from indi­vid­u­als as they focus on stim­uli pre­sent­ed on a com­put­er screen. Their abil­i­ty to con­trol the stim­uli, for exam­ple, keep­ing the ‘smile on a smi­ley face’, is con­tin­gent on main­tain­ing the brain­wave pat­tern being trained.

Neu­ro­feed­back sup­port­ers believe that learn­ing this dur­ing train­ing gen­er­al­izes to real world sit­u­a­tions and results in improved atten­tion and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behav­ior. Although a num­ber of neu­ro­feed­back stud­ies have yield­ed promis­ing results it remains some­what con­tro­ver­sial with some researchers argu­ing that lim­i­ta­tions of these stud­ies pre­clude firm con­clu­sions about the effec­tive­ness of neu­ro­feed­back from being drawn.

Last year I reviewed a par­tic­u­lar­ly well-con­duct­ed study of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD — see my review here. The study was con­duct­ed in Ger­many and began with 94 chil­dren aged 8 to 12. All had been care­ful­ly diag­nosed with ADHD and over 90% had nev­er received med­ica­tion treat­ment. About 80% were boys.

Chil­dren were ran­dom­ly assigned to receive either 36 ses­sions of neu­ro­feed­back train­ing or 36 ses­sions of com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing. The com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing task was intend­ed to serve as the con­trol inter­ven­tion and pro­vid­ed equal amounts of time work­ing on a demand­ing cog­ni­tive task under the super­vi­sion of an adult; the inclu­sion of this con­trol con­di­tion is a real strength of the study.

The main find­ings were as fol­lows: Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness around the Globe

A few days ago, Rajen­dra, an Indi­an read­er of our newslet­ter, told us that ASHA (the acronym for the Amer­i­can Seniors Hous­ing Asso­ci­a­tion, for whom we pre­pared this spe­cial report), means Hope in Hin­di.

Asha, every­one!

Then, we saw a few excel­lent arti­cles on Brain Fit­ness and Sharp­Brains in mul­ti­ple lan­guages and con­ti­nents-time to prac­tice our lan­guage skills!:

Train your brain (Finan­cial Times Ger­many):

Ob Gehirn­train­ing etwas ntzt ist nicht bewiesen. Aber in den USA boomt der Markt, Her­steller kooperieren mit Krankenkassen und Senioren­heimen. In Deutsch­land fassen die Spiele ger­ade erst Fu.”

Toman auge ejer­ci­cios que adies­tran la mente (Mile­nio, Mex­i­co):

La clave est¡ en encon­trar activi­dades que estim­ulen m¡s nues­tra memo­ria.”

Trois nou­velles tudes IDATE : Seri­ous Games (Pub­li-News, France):

A tra­vers une analyse dtaille des car­ac­tris­tiques, des usages et des diffrentes familles de seri­ous games, cette tude met en vidence les enjeux asso­cis aux phas­es de con­cep­tion, de devel­oppe­ment et de dif­fu­sion des diffrents types de seri­ous games.”

Eng­lish-speak­ers were rep­re­sent­ed too:
An idea whose time has (final­ly) come (McKnight’s Long Term Care News):

Like many rev­o­lu­tions, long-term care’s recent embrace of tech­nol­o­gy-based brain fit­ness tools began qui­et­ly. Then it explod­ed.”

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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