Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Rethinking and Retooling Brain Health and Mental Health

We hope you enjoy this slid­edeck sup­port­ing two ses­sions held at the 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: The Future of Brain Health (March 7–9th).  Full record­ings are avail­able for pur­chase here.

8–8.45am. Rethink­ing and Retool­ing Brain Health and Men­tal Health  

  • Dr. Tom Insel, Co-founder and Pres­i­dent of Mind­strong Health and for­mer Direc­tor of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH)

9–10.30am. How to detect prob­lems ear­ly: Exam­ples in Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, Parkinson’s, anx­i­ety and PTSD

  • Dr. Sri­jan Sen, Pro­fes­sor of Depres­sion and Neu­ro­sciences at Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan
  • Jan Samzelius, Co-Founder and Chief Sci­en­tist of Neu­raMetrix
  • Dr. Tony Chang, Asso­ciate at Mer­ck Ven­tures
  • Chaired byDr. Dean­na Bel­sky, Asso­ciate at Dol­by Fam­i­ly Ven­tures

New report: Empowering 8 Billion Minds via Ethical Development and Adoption of Neurotechnologies

Empow­er­ing 8 Bil­lion Minds: Enabling Bet­ter Men­tal Health for All via the Eth­i­cal Adop­tion of Tech­nolo­gies from WEF GFC on Neu­rotech­nolo­gies on Vimeo.

A new report (opens PDF) cre­at­ed by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum Glob­al Future Coun­cil on Neu­rotech­nolo­gies, Empow­er­ing 8 Bil­lion Minds: Enabling Bet­ter Men­tal Health for All via the Eth­i­cal Adop­tion of Tech­nolo­gies, pro­pos­es a frame­work to address pri­va­cy, trust and gov­er­nance issues in the use of tech­nolo­gies for men­tal health­care.

Men­tal health dis­or­ders are among the lead­ing caus­es of mor­tal­i­ty and could cost the glob­al econ­o­my $16 tril­lion by 2030. By col­lect­ing and analysing data to inform treat­ment, it is eas­i­er for more peo­ple to access infor­ma­tion and engage with pro­fes­sion­als. While tech­nolo­gies, includ­ing smart­phones, wear­able sen­sors and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, are suc­cess­ful­ly meet­ing the cur­rent gaps in care, there are risks Read the rest of this entry »

Heads-up: You can now watch all Recordings (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours) from the 2019 SharpBrains Virtual Summit

The 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit (May 7–9th, 2019)  fea­tured over forty of the world’s top experts and inno­va­tors work­ing to improve brain health for all in light of grow­ing neu­ro­science and dig­i­tal tech. You can read some of the main high­lights here.

Addi­tion­al­ly the Sum­mit host­ed the sec­ond edi­tion of the Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test to high­light ways in which emerg­ing sci­en­tif­ic find­ings are being trans­lat­ed into prac­ti­cal and scal­able brain health assess­ments, ther­a­pies, plat­forms and solu­tions.

 

How to Access the Recordings

A) Reg­is­tered Par­tic­i­pants:  Sim­ply click on any ses­sion in the Sum­mit Agen­da to open the cor­re­spond­ing record­ing, using the cre­den­tials we sent you by email.

B) Every­one else: You can pur­chase one-year online access to all record­ings for $95 using the but­ton below; Visa/ AmEx/ Mastercard/ Discover/ Pay­Pal are all accept­ed. Once the pay­ment goes through we will email you login cre­den­tials.

 

Hap­py Sum­mer and Hap­py Learn­ing!

– The Sum­mit Steer­ing Group

New study reinforces the importance of walking through forests for mental and general health

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I love trees and am not immune to hug­ging them. It may not be ratio­nal, but when I’m near one of these qui­et giants, I feel like they are kin—ancient grand­par­ents, or at least benev­o­lent wit­ness­es of his­to­ry and time.

Every­one prob­a­bly doesn’t feel the same way as I do, but per­haps they should. While being in nature leads to bet­ter health, cre­ativ­i­ty, and even kind­ness, there may be some­thing spe­cial about being among trees. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Highlights from the 2019 SharpBrains Virtual Summit to shape the Future of Brain & Mental Health

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Wow. Fas­ci­nat­ing three days last week. Some of our favorite moments and take-aways…

1. Dr. Tom Insel pro­vid­ed a spec­tac­u­lar overview of the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion in brain health and men­tal health. While we have his­tor­i­cal­ly failed to bend the curve as well as in oth­er areas of health, since “you can’t man­age what you can’t mea­sure”, new dig­i­tal and neu­ro­log­i­cal mon­i­tor­ing tech­nolo­gies are final­ly allow­ing us to rem­e­dy that fun­da­men­tal issue so we can iden­ti­fy prob­lems ear­ly and inter­vene ear­ly. Mul­ti­ple Speak­ers dur­ing the Sum­mit like Dr. Sri­jan Sen, Jan Samzelius and Louis Gagnon built upon Insel’s remarks with much research, tech and exam­ples.

2. Richard Han­bury won the 2019 Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test by pre­sent­ing a nov­el com­bi­na­tion of audio-visu­al stim­u­la­tion and neu­ro­feed­back train­ing to  alle­vi­ate chron­ic pain. Our “Sharp Tank” Judges were very impressed by Kate Sharadin work too, who came in as close sec­ond thanks to her dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics start­up.

3. Dr. Anna Wexler, Dr. Karen Rom­melfanger and Jacque­line Stud­er shared a fas­ci­nat­ing ses­sion on pri­va­cy and ethics, help­ing to bridge acad­e­mia and indus­try. We lack clear stan­dards and tax­onomies for neu­rotech­nol­o­gy, but they men­tioned sev­er­al ini­tia­tives to antic­i­pate and address the chal­lenges, and  encour­aged par­tic­i­pants to be aspi­ra­tional rather than “legal­is­tic” — by con­sid­er­ing diverse per­spec­tives, striv­ing for the widest ben­e­fit with the min­i­mum risks, and edu­cat­ing users, we can enable ben­e­fi­cial inno­va­tion in ways that reg­u­la­tion alone, as impor­tant as it is, prob­a­bly can­not.

4. Sev­er­al pre­sen­ters includ­ing Dr. Lew Lim, Ana Maiques and Nick­o­lai Vysokov dis­cussed the grow­ing field of adap­tive and per­son­al­ized neu­ro­mod­u­la­tion meth­ods. This emerg­ing tech­nol­o­gy class deserves atten­tion and research, as it could mean a non-inva­sive, non-phar­ma­co­log­ic treat­ment for a vari­ety of con­di­tions. (For exam­ple, the FDA recent­ly cleared the use of the first non-drug treat­ment for ADHD thanks to the study dis­cussed here).

5. The theme of per­son­al­iza­tion was also dis­cussed by pre­sen­ters work­ing on an array of brain-based and cog­ni­tive ther­a­pies in schools, the work­place and con­sumer tech. Speak­ers like David Klein, Ariel Garten, and Dr. Gre­go­ry Rose dis­cussed emerg­ing find­ings and best prac­tices in the “real word” out­side of research labs and clin­i­cal set­tings.

6. Back to cut­ting-edge research, Dr. Nir Gross­man and Dr. Reza Zomor­ro­di unveiled excit­ing advances in non-inva­sive brain stim­u­la­tion while Dr. Peter White­house remind­ed us of the crit­i­cal impor­tance of soci­etal fac­tors which impact the indi­vid­ual brain and of com­mu­ni­ty-based inter­ven­tions that can help pro­mote brain health. Dr. Hag­it Alon dis­cussed fund­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to advance the “Neu­ro-Well­ness” field.

7. Dr. Dean­na Bel­sky, Dr. Tony Chang, Avery Bedows, Elan Tye and oth­er ven­ture investors through­out the Sum­mit dis­cussed the oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges for a suc­cess­ful mar­riage of research and com­mer­cial­iza­tion,  nav­i­gat­ing the com­bi­na­tion of reli­able sci­ence and tech, fea­si­bil­i­ty, and mar­ket need.

8. We had an “Oprah moment” when Mar­cel Legrand at Total Brain promised to give away licens­es for all Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants to try out their cor­po­rate well­ness plat­form to bet­ter assess, under­stand and improve brain capac­i­ties.

9. Dr. Margie Mor­ris pre­sent­ed Left to Our Own Devices (MIT Press; 2018), a great book pro­vid­ing mul­ti­ple sto­ries and exam­ples on how to out­smart our smart­phones,  and Alvaro Fer­nan­dez pre­sent­ed his lat­est book El Cere­bro Que Cura (“The Brain That Heals;” Platafor­ma Edi­to­r­i­al; 2019), co-authored with Dr. Alvaro Pas­cual-Leone, which pro­pos­es a sim­ple but rev­o­lu­tion­ary idea — a healthy mind/brain is both the prod­uct and the dri­ver of over­all phys­i­cal health.

10. All this, and much more, hap­pened dur­ing 3-days and engag­ing up to 174 par­tic­i­pants in 18 coun­tries…and yet not even one per­son out­side the orga­niz­ing team had to jump on a flight and gen­er­ate tons of trav­el-relat­ed CO2 emis­sions…

Time to pro­tect those pre­cious nat­ur­al resources out­side AND inside our skulls 🙂

 

– Alvaro Fer­nan­dez is the CEO & Edi­tor-in-Chief of Sharp­Brains, and Bran­don Frank is a PhD can­di­date at Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty with a con­cen­tra­tion in Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy.

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

About SharpBrains

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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