Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Grand Rounds: Call for Submissions

Welcome to the new SharpBrains! – we have inaugurated this new theme and look & feel today, so if you find something that doesn’t work, please let us know.


I will be hosting Grand Rounds, the weekly collection of great health and medical blogging, on Tuesday, October 20th. Please send me your post at alvaro (at) sharpbrains (dot) com, indicating Grand Rounds in the title. Please do so before end of Sunday, October 18th, USA time.

Optional theme will be, of course: Cognition and the Brain. Would you share your thoughts and experiences on how cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology should, will, or may, be used to improve health and healthcare? what opportunities you see for preventive and/ or clinical care to better deal with the assessment, maintenance, rehab, of cognitive and emotional functions, across the lifespan?

Reward for the extra brain exercise? I will give away a complimentary copy of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, our recent book, to the blogger who (in my editorial judgement) offers the most insightful post.

The theme is optional. Grand Rounds will include all other important topics you write about. Looking forward a stimulating edition!

Grand Rounds 5:12 – Healthcare Reform Q&A

“If Dr. Rob can interview Santa, why can’t I interview a select group of health & medical bloggers? They will have some good ideas to share”.

So did President-elect Obama came to realize a few days ago. After his people kindly contacted our people, we felt compelled to grant him open access to our collective wisdom. Without further ado, below you have Grand Rounds 5:12 – a Q&A session led by the incoming President on how to reform (for the better, we hope) healthcare.

On Health Insurance

Q:  How does the blogosphere perceive the problem of having a significant group of people uninsured?

Health Insurance Colorado: a growing economic burden, which may lead to emergency rooms turning people away if they are unable to provide proof of health insurance.

Dr Rich: well, a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed how overcrowding in American emergency rooms is NOT due to the uninsured. Rather, it is due to insured Americans who cannot get in to see their primary care physicians. We may need improved care both for the insured and uninsured groups.

InsureBlog: I’d second that. Lack of health insurance is a major problem but is it really our Biggest Problem?

It’s All about Attitude

Q: You may have heard my campaign mantra, “Yes We Can”. Can I count on your support?

ButYouDontLookSick: Yes. If Leslie Hunt can talk so openly about her chronic illness (Lupus) yet fulfill her American Idol dreams, we can fulfill our dreams too.

Notes of an Anesthesioboist: you are talking to the group of professionals willing to self-experiment with our own body for the benefit of science and our patients.

Medviews: My wife, son, and I signed up to work as medical volunteers for your upcoming inauguration.

EmergiBlog: I am on board too. But, please, remember that caring is the essence of nursing. And that is why my patients will always be my patients and never my  clients.

Neuroanthropology: Mr. President-elect, it seems to me that, despite all our good intentions, balancing the budget and multiple competing priorities will be a challenge. May I suggest you start practicing some capoeira for equilibrium training?

Shrink Rap: Happy to help. Now, we will need to protect some time for quality sleep time.


Q: I am encouraged by your words. How can my team and I better support you in your daily activities?

Aequanimitas: we need more role models for us to “learn to think, observe, and compare” and that the patient is our “first, last, and only teacher”.

Mudphudder: Couldn’t agree more. We need Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Rounds: Briefing the Next US President

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US President,

Thank you for visiting Grand Rounds, the weekly collection of the best health and medical blog posts, in the midst of your very busy schedule.

Street Musicians in NYCThe health and medical blogosphere would like to make sure you and your team take into account the issues outlined below as you and your aids formulate your policies and put together the team that will further define and implement them.

Without further ado, let me outline these 40 questions and topics.

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US President, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness and Exercise in Japan

Fun article in the Washington Post: Aging Japanese Keep Their Minds Moving

  • “part of a broad range of mental acuity products that are all the rage in Japan: books, toys, food and other things, sold with the pledge that they can reenergize aging brains.”
  • “Analysts said the current brain-training trend began in 2004 and 2005 when video games such as Sega Toys Co.’s Brain Trainer and Nintendo Co.’s Brain Age became smash hits. Since its launch, Brain Age for Nintendo’s DS console has sold 6.7 million copies around the world, including 3.4 million in Japan.”

We were fortunate to interview a Japanese expert on this trend a few months ago. In Brain Training and “Brain-ism” in Japan, we can learn a lot, such as

  • “To see the activities inside the brain was fresh for people, but the methodology and logic was not reviewed by any scientific publication. It was published by Read the rest of this entry »

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