Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Dr. Albert Kwon, CEO of Brainnovations Winner AUGMENTx, wants to harness Augmented Reality to significantly ease access to Neurological Rehabilitation Therapies


Albert, what sur­prised you the most from the Judges’ ques­tions and feed­back dur­ing the Brain­no­va­tions Pitch Con­test?

It was a pleas­ant sur­prise to receive so many votes and such great feed­back, which solid­i­fied my con­vic­tion that there is a great need to cre­ate new ther­a­py options for stroke patients and oth­er neu­ro­log­i­cal injuries, espe­cial­ly giv­en our aging pop­u­la­tion.  Med­ical sys­tems world­wide will strug­gle to han­dle the grow­ing bur­den of chron­ic ill­ness­es unless we start act­ing soon.

In a nut­shell, what is the core idea behind AUG­MEN­Tx?

The core idea is to lever­age visu­al-cog­ni­tive and visu­al-motor/sen­so­ry con­nec­tions of the brain to enhance per­for­mance in dis­ease states.  For exam­ple, mir­ror ther­a­py takes advan­tage of the mir­ror neu­ron path­way to improve post-stroke motor recov­ery and to alle­vi­ate phan­tom limb pain in limb amputees.  And we believe that these ther­a­pies can be deliv­ered on dig­i­tized AR plat­forms, instead of being always con­fined to few spe­cial­ized phys­i­cal reha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters.  Why not have them be acces­si­ble from the patient’s home Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers stress need for neurotechnologies to protect the mental dimension of individuals and groups, especially mental privacy and integrity

Image: Ars Elec­tron­i­ca | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


From Health­care to War­fare: How to Reg­u­late Brain Tech­nol­o­gy (Uni­ver­si­ty of Basel press release):

The term “dual-use” refers to tech­nol­o­gy that can be used for both ben­e­fi­cial (i.e., med­ical) and harm­ful (i.e., mil­i­tary of ter­ror­is­tic) aims. Until recent­ly, most dual-use tech­nol­o­gy emerged espe­cial­ly in virol­o­gy and bac­te­ri­ol­o­gy. In the last years, how­ev­er, mil­i­tary-fund­ed research has entered the domain of neu­ro­science and neu­rotech­nol­o­gy.

This has result­ed in a rapid growth in brain tech­nol­o­gy pro­to­types aimed at Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Gates announces $50 million investment to fight Alzheimer’s Disease


Why I’m Dig­ging Deep Into Alzheimer’s (Bill Gates):

In every part of the world, peo­ple are liv­ing longer than they used to. Thanks to sci­en­tif­ic advance­ments, few­er peo­ple die young from heart dis­ease, can­cer, and infec­tious dis­eases. It’s no longer unusu­al for a per­son to live well into their 80s and beyond. My dad will cel­e­brate his 92nd birth­day in a cou­ple weeks, a mile­stone that was prac­ti­cal­ly unimag­in­able when he was born.

This fact—that peo­ple are liv­ing longer than ever before—should always be a won­der­ful thing. But what hap­pens when it’s not? Read the rest of this entry »

Required: Deep partnerships between industry and academia to upgrade healthcare and biomedical research via Big Data

Join the dis­rup­tors of health sci­ence (Nature):

Thomas R. Insel’s biggest les­son from his shift from NIMH direc­tor to Sil­i­con Val­ley entre­pre­neur: aca­d­e­m­ic and tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny researchers should part­ner up.

In ear­ly 2015, I tes­ti­fied with sev­er­al oth­er Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health (NIH) direc­tors at an annu­al hear­ing held by the US Sen­ate. It was my 13th and final year as direc­tor of the US Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH) in Bethes­da, Mary­land. What struck me most was how Read the rest of this entry »

Final days to submit scalable & non-pharmacological Brain Health proposals to MIT Solve’s Brain Health Challenge

Insuf­fi­cient brain health­care is one of the most per­va­sive and mul­ti-faceted prob­lems our world faces today. From the young to the old, the rich to the poor, those liv­ing in dense cities to iso­lat­ed farm­lands, any­one can be affect­ed by brain health prob­lems. Yet, cur­rent solu­tions to this prob­lem are lim­it­ed. While some inno­va­tions have made sig­nif­i­cant strides towards improved brain health, there is a press­ing need for stronger pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of cog­ni­tive health­care and more proac­tive inno­va­tion towards pre­ven­ta­tive treat­ments. Read the rest of this entry »

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