Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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How to promote brain health at scale: Examples in the workplace, K12 education and consumer tech

Hop­ing you enjoy this slid­edeck sup­port­ing an impor­tant dis­cus­sion dur­ing the 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: The Future of Brain Health (March 7–9th).  Full record­ings are avail­able for pur­chase here.

3pm‑4.30pm. How to pro­mote brain health at scale: Exam­ples in the work­place, K12 edu­ca­tion and con­sumer tech 

  • Louis Gagnon, CEO of Total Brain
  • Dr. Gre­go­ry Rose, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Inte­grat­ed Research in Cog­ni­tive and Neur­al Sci­ences at SIU Med
  • Ariel Garten, Founder and Chief Evan­ge­lism Offi­cer of Inter­aX­on
  • Chaired byAlvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and Edi­tor-in-Chief at Sharp­Brains

Alzheimer’s Disease: Treatment Directions

Last year, Jef­frey Gonce, a Psy­chol­o­gy teacher at Red Land High School (West Shore School Dis­trict, PA) asked his stu­dents to “com­plete a project describ­ing a recent brain (or genet­ic) study that affects behav­ior.” The stu­dents could opt to post their arti­cles online, and Jef­frey was kind enough to send us a link to read the results. We enjoyed read­ing them all, and pub­lished in our blog this beau­ti­ful essay, titled “Tis bet­ter to give than receive”, writ­ten by Alexan­dra, which  was sub­se­quent­ly includ­ed in a num­ber of neu­ro­science an psy­chol­o­gy blogs. Ear­li­er this year we high­light­ed this piece on Musi­cal train­ing as men­tal exer­cise for cog­ni­tive per­for­mance, writ­ten by Megan.

This quar­ter, Jef­frey also sent us his stu­dents’ essays, and we are going to rec­og­nize and pub­lish this great essay by high school stu­dent Kristin H.

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Alzheimer’s Dis­ease

– By Kristin H.

Alzheimer’s is a dis­ease which caus­es peo­ple, gen­er­al­ly of an old­er age, to lose mem­o­ry and for­get how to accom­plish sim­ple tasks. Demen­tia is the dis­ease which Alzheimer’s is a part and about four mil­lion Amer­i­cans were diag­nosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999, a num­ber which is expect­ed to grow (Alt­man 8–9). Demen­tia is an unspe­cif­ic brain dis­ease com­mon­ly asso­ci­at­ed with mem­o­ry loss and anoth­er seri­ous brain dys­func­tion. Demen­tia is an incur­able dis­ease (“Demen­tia”). A new drug treat­ment that replaces the enzyme miss­ing in an Alzheimer’s brain may be able to cure Alzheimer’s dis­ease in it’s late stages (Cogh­lan).

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Report: The State of the Brain Fitness/ Training Software Market 2008

After many months of work (and we hope many new neu­rons and stronger synaps­es in our brains), we have just released our inau­gur­al report on the emerg­ing Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket, Brain Fitness Software the first to define the brain fit­ness and train­ing soft­ware mar­ket and ana­lyze the size and trends of its four cus­tomer seg­ments. We esti­mate the size of the US brain fit­ness soft­ware mar­ket at $225M in2007, up from $100m in 2005 (50% CAGR). The two seg­ments that fueled the mar­ket growth: con­sumers (grew from $5m to $80m, 300% CAGR) and health­care & insur­ance providers (grew from $36m to $65m, 35% CAGR).

High­lights from The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2008 report include:

1) 2007 was a sem­i­nal year for the US Brain Fit­ness soft­ware mar­ket, which reached $225 mil­lion in rev­enues – up from an esti­mat­ed $100 mil­lion in 2005.

2) Over 20 com­pa­nies are offer­ing tools to assess and train cog­ni­tive skills to four cus­tomer seg­ments: con­sumers; health­care and insur­ance providers; K12 school sys­tems; and For­tune 1000 com­pa­nies, the mil­i­tary, and sports teams.

3) The Nin­ten­do Brain Age/ Brain Train­ing phe­nom­e­non has dri­ven much of the growth. The con­sumer seg­ment grew from a few mil­lion in 2005 to an esti­mat­ed $80 mil­lion in 2007.

4) There is major con­fu­sion in the mar­ket, so edu­ca­tion will be key. Users and buy­ers need help to nav­i­gate the maze of prod­ucts and claims.

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Carnival of Education #159: Briefing the Next US President on 35 Issues

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US Pres­i­dent,

Thank you for stop­ping dur­ing recess for a quick study ses­siMeditation School Studentson. 35 edu­ca­tors have col­lab­o­rat­ed to present this Car­ni­val of Edu­ca­tion as a use­ful les­son plan for you and your edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy team on what our real con­cerns and sug­ges­tions are.

In case this is your first vis­it to our Sharp­Brains blog, let me first of all point out some use­ful resources to stay sane dur­ing the rest of the cam­paign: select­ed Brain Teasers, a list of 21 great Brain Books, over a dozen inter­views with lead­ing sci­en­tists on learn­ing and brain-based top­ics, and more.

With­out fur­ther ado, let’s pro­ceed to the issues raised. We hope they pro­vide, at the very least, good men­tal stim­u­la­tion for you and your advi­sors.

Edu­ca­tion as a Sys­tem

The First Step Is Failure

Joanne Jacobs, edu­ca­tor, blog­ger and author of Our School: The Inspir­ing Sto­ry of Two Teach­ers, One Big Idea and the Char­ter School That Beat the Odds, par­tic­i­pates today in our Author Speaks Series with an excel­lent arti­cle on how “Schools won’t improve until admin­is­tra­tors and teach­ers can admit the prob­lems, ana­lyze what’s going wrong and try new strate­gies. Stu­dents won’t improve if they think they’re “spe­cial” just the way they are.” Enjoy, and feel free to add your com­ment to engage in a stim­u­lat­ing con­ver­sa­tion.Our School: Joanne Jacobs

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The First Step Is Fail­ure
By Joanne Jacobs

When self-esteem became an edu­ca­tion watch­word in 1986, I thought it was a harm­less fad. I was wrong: It wasn’t harm­less. Many teach­ers were per­suad­ed that stu­dents should be pumped up with praise, regard­less of their per­for­mance. Schools low­ered expec­ta­tions so stu­dents couldn’t fail. Every­one got an “I Am Spe­cial” stick­er. Till the stan­dards and account­abil­i­ty move­ment kicked in, stu­dents often were judged by how they felt about learn­ing not by whether they’d actu­al­ly learned some­thing.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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