Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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E-therapy stepping up to fill mental health gaps

etherapy.

Tele­health ven­dor seized oppor­tu­ni­ty from Kaiser strike (Health­Care Dive):

When Kaiser’s men­tal health work­ers went on strike to protest what they claim is Kaiser’s pol­i­cy of under­staffing their facil­i­ties in order to boost their prof­its, it left a void for the thou­sands of patients who relied on Kaiser’s staff for men­tal health ser­vices. Act­ing as a real-time tes­ti­mo­ny to the pow­er of tele­health Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming Q&A on the Future of Brain Health to celebrate Brain Awareness Week

Info­graph­ic based on 2011 Sharp­Brains Summit’s Meet­ing Report

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, co-founder and CEO of Sharp­Brains, has been named a Young Glob­al Leader by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, an hon­or rec­og­niz­ing the most dis­tin­guished lead­ers under age 40 from around the world.

Mr. Fer­nan­dez will dis­cuss “How to Retool Brain Health for the 21st Cen­tu­ry” via a one-hour vir­tu­al Q&A ses­sion host­ed live at SharpBrains.com on Fri­day, March 16 from 10 to 11a.m. US East­ern Time. The con­ver­sa­tion will be based on the Meet­ing Report from the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit, which gath­ered 250+ inno­va­tors world­wide.

The way we do brain health is essen­tial­ly bro­ken,” he said. “We need a new cul­ture and toolk­it to empow­er sharp brains of all ages to take more proac­tive care of their brain.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 1: The Business

The recent dis­cov­ery that expe­ri­ence can change brain struc­ture and func­tion at any age has sparked numer­ous health, edu­ca­tion, and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty appli­ca­tions whose val­ue and lim­i­ta­tions we are only start­ing to grasp.

Brain fit­ness has quick­ly become a main­stream aspi­ra­tion among baby boomers and elders, pri­mar­i­ly in North Amer­i­ca. It has fueled a grow­ing inter­est in brain fit­ness class­es, brain fit­ness cen­ters, and brain fit­ness pro­grams, along with atten­dant oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges. An increas­ing num­ber of adults want use­ful tools to pro­tect cog­ni­tive health and performance—not nec­es­sar­i­ly to reverse aging—and what they are find­ing is an expand­ing and noisy mar­ket­place where they (and also pro­fes­sion­als) need to care­ful­ly eval­u­ate their own needs and the avail­able options (Fer­nan­dez and Gold­berg, 2009). Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Rounds: Best of Health and Medical Blogging

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Grand Rounds blog car­ni­val, the week­ly edi­tion of what’s best in the health and med­ical blo­gos­phere. This week, twen­ty four blog­gers share data, insights, ques­tions, reflec­tions and more. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

AAA to deploy Brain Fitness Software DriveSharp to Assess and Train Older Driver’s Brains

The AAA Foun­da­tion for Traf­fic Safe­ty just start­ed to rec­om­mend a new dri­ver safe­ty pro­gram called Dri­ve­Sharp (see AAA and Posit Release Pro­gram to Improve Dri­vers’ Minds), devel­oped by Posit Sci­ence. Dri­ve­Sharp is a com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive assess­ment and train­ing tool based on Kar­lene Ball’s research on old­er adults’ cog­ni­tive fit­ness and dri­ving.

In the press release for the agree­ment, Peter Kissinger, dri­ver safe­ty research and pol­i­cy vet­er­an and CEO of the AAA Foun­da­tion, says thatPeter Kissinger AAA Foundation “Part of mak­ing our nation’s roads safer is help­ing mature dri­vers who wish to stay active — a quick­ly grow­ing pop­u­la­tion — main­tain or improve their dri­ving safe­ty.”

We have Peter Kissinger with us to dis­cuss the con­text for this inno­v­a­tive ini­tia­tive.

Peter, I appre­ci­ate your time. In order to set the con­text, would you intro­duce the role and pri­or­i­ties of the AAA Foun­da­tion?

Sure. All your read­ers will know that AAA is the main dri­ver asso­ci­a­tion in North Amer­i­ca, with over 50 mil­lion mem­bers. The AAA Foun­da­tion is focused on the research and pol­i­cy required to improve dri­ver safe­ty and has 4 strate­gic pri­or­i­ties:
— Intro­duce a cul­ture of traf­fic safe­ty. It is an out­rage that there is a dri­ving-relat­ed death every 13 min­utes in the US, and yet, we seem to accept this as sta­tus quo
— Improve road safe­ty, espe­cial­ly on rur­al roads, where almost 60% of the deaths occur,
— Improve safe­ty among teens, one of the high­est risk groups
— Improve safe­ty among seniors, anoth­er high-risk group.

In terms of dri­ver-cen­tered inter­ven­tions, are your pri­or­i­ties are teenage and old­er dri­vers?

driver fatality rateYes. You have prob­a­bly seen the U-shaped risk curve (Edi­tor note: see fig­ure at left) that shows how acci­dent risks are very high among teenagers, then decrease and remain sta­ble until our 60s, and then increase again.

We have pro­mot­ed ini­tia­tives such as Dri­verZED (see www.driverzed.org) to help teenagers bet­ter iden­ti­fy and man­age the typ­i­cal sources of risk, so they advance faster through the learn­ing curve. For old­er dri­vers we focus on how to bal­ance the priv­i­lege of dri­ving with the right of mobil­i­ty — we know that los­ing dri­ving inde­pen­dence can bring a vari­ety of neg­a­tive con­se­quences for the indi­vid­ual.

Giv­en aging pop­u­la­tion trends, it is clear we need to intro­duce bet­ter sys­tems to bal­ance those two goals you just out­lined -safe­ty and mobil­i­ty. Do you think as a soci­ety we are pre­pared?

I don’t think we are, and I am pes­simistic that we will be in the short term. This is a very impor­tant prob­lem: offi­cial esti­mates say that the pro­por­tion of all dri­vers who are over 65 years of age will grow from 15% today to 25% in 2025.

Let me give you some back­ground: two years ago we put togeth­er a work­shop to iden­ti­fy the state of the research and the state of the prac­tice of dri­ver safe­ty among Read the rest of this entry »

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