Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Monitoring health, wellness and fitness via wearable devices: Key Neurotech Patent #29

– Illus­tra­tive image from US Patent No. 7,261,690.

Today we are shar­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing 2007 patent assigned to Body­media. (As men­tioned, we are fea­tur­ing a foun­da­tion­al Per­va­sive Neu­rotech patent a day, from old­er to new­er by issue date)

U.S. Patent No. 7,261,690: Appa­ra­tus for mon­i­tor­ing health, well­ness and fit­ness.

  • Assignee(s): Body­media, Inc.
  • Inventor(s): Eric Teller, John M. Stivoric, Christo­pher D. Kasabach, Christo­pher D. Pacione, John
  • L. Moss, Craig B. Liden
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­ro-mon­i­tor­ing
  • Issue Date: August 28, 2007

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘690 patent dis­clos­es an appa­ra­tus for mon­i­tor­ing human health and well­ness, includ­ing men­tal health ele­ments, through a wear­able device with phys­i­o­log­i­cal and con­tex­tu­al (envi­ron­men­tal) sen­sors. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Training Trends — Putting our Cognitive Reserve to Work

Yes­ter­day I had the chance to chat with Yaakov Stern, lead­ing Cog­ni­tive Reserve researcher at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, and then with a group of 25 life­long learn­ers in Ari­zona who attend­ed a brain fit­ness class (hel­lo, Robert and friends!) based on our con­sumer guide The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. On reflec­tion, I found both con­ver­sa­tions to be very stim­u­lat­ing for the same rea­son: they were for­ward-look­ing, focused not so much on sta­tus quo but on how emerg­ing research, tech­nol­o­gy and trends may impact our soci­ety and lives in years to come. Let’s con­tin­ue the con­ver­sa­tion. Let me share the 10 main trends that we analyzed/ fore­cast­ed in our book, and then ask you, sharp read­ers, to add your own 2 cents to the dis­cus­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

Pooling data to accelerate Alzheimer’s research

Very inter­est­ing arti­cle in the New York Times on the rea­sons behind grow­ing research of how to detect Alzheimer’s Dis­ease: Rare Shar­ing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer’s (New York Times)

(Sit­u­a­tion before) Sci­en­tists were look­ing for bio­mark­ers, but they were not get­ting very far. “The prob­lem in the field was that you had many dif­fer­ent sci­en­tists in many dif­fer­ent uni­ver­si­ties doing their own research with their own patients and with their own meth­ods,” said Dr. Michael W. Wein­er of the San Fran­cis­co Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs, who directs ADNI. “Dif­fer­ent peo­ple using dif­fer­ent meth­ods on dif­fer­ent sub­jects in dif­fer­ent places were get­ting dif­fer­ent results, which is not sur­pris­ing. What was need­ed was to get every­one togeth­er and to get a com­mon data set.”

(Sit­u­a­tion now) Com­pa­nies as well as aca­d­e­m­ic researchers are using the data. There have been more than 3,200 down­loads of the entire mas­sive data set and almost a mil­lion down­loads of the data sets con­tain­ing images from brain scans.

Com­ment: as dis­cussed in our recent mar­ket report, we’ll prob­a­bly see soon­er rather than lat­er a com­pa­ra­ble effort aimed at find­ing the bio­log­i­cal and or cog­ni­tive mark­ers for the Cog­ni­tive Reserve, the emerg­ing cor­ner­stone for a life­long men­tal well­ness (vs. a dis­ease-spe­cif­ic) approach. For more on the need to stan­dard­ize data and care, read inter­view with Patrick Dono­hue on Rein­vent­ing Brain Care through Pol­i­cy, Stan­dards, Tech­nol­o­gy. For more on the Cog­ni­tive Reserve, read inter­view with Dr. Yaakov Stern.

Technology as the missing link to enable a brain-based model of brain care: interview with Dr. John Docherty

Dr. John Docher­ty is an Adjunct Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chi­a­try at the Weill Med­ical Col­lege, Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty, Direc­tor of Post Grad­u­ate Edu­ca­tion there, and Chief Med­ical Offi­cer of Brain Resource. Trained as a clin­i­cal research fel­low in neu­ropsy­chophar­ma­col­o­gy at NIMH, he lat­er returned as Chief of the Psy­choso­cial Treat­ments Research Branch, respon­si­ble for all fed­er­al­ly sup­port­ed psy­choso­cial treat­ment research in men­tal health nation­wide. He over­saw the land­mark Nation­al Col­lab­o­ra­tive Study of the Treat­ment of Depres­sion and served as a mem­ber and Chair­man for over 10 years on the NIMH and then NIDA Treat­ment Research IRGs. Dr. Docher­ty has wide expe­ri­ence in suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ing inno­va­tion in both clin­i­cal oper­a­tions and man­aged health care. He found­ed North­east Psy­chi­atric Asso­ciates in 1985. As Nation­al Med­ical Direc­tor for Nation­al Med­ical Enter­pris­es, he over­saw med­ical con­trol and qual­i­ty improve­ment in 74 hos­pi­tals in 34 states. He was the Exec­u­tive Vice-Pres­i­dent and Chief Med­ical Offi­cer for Mer­it Behav­ioral Care, which then cov­ered 30 mil­lion peo­ple. In 1998, he found­ed Com­pre­hen­sive Neu­ro­Science (CNS). Its Care Man­age­ment Tech­nolo­gies are cur­rent­ly imple­ment­ed in 17 state Med­ic­aid plans. Dr Docher­ty has received numer­ous hon­ors and awards and has authored over 100 sci­en­tif­ic pub­li­ca­tions.

(Editor’s note: this inter­view with Dr. John Docher­ty was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Sharp­Brains’ mar­ket report Trans­form­ing Brain Health with Dig­i­tal Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cog­ni­tion across the Lifes­pan, pub­lished in July 2010)

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Dr. Docher­ty, it is a plea­sure to be with you today to dis­cuss the main theme of Sharp­Brains’ 2010 mar­ket report – how the con­ver­gence of sci­en­tif­ic find­ings and tech­nol­o­gy plat­forms and tools is reshap­ing how as a soci­ety and as indi­vid­u­als we will take care of cog­ni­tion and men­tal well­ness along the life­course, giv­ing birth to the emerg­ing dig­i­tal brain health and fit­ness mar­ket. Can you first briefly dis­cuss your career tra­jec­to­ry and your cur­rent role at Brain Resource?

Dr. John Docher­ty: Sure. The main theme of my work since the 1960s has remained the same, “How do we put knowl­edge into effec­tive use to improve men­tal health?” Over the last cen­tu­ry, med­i­cine made tremen­dous progress in gen­er­at­ing sci­en­tif­ic and clin­i­cal knowl­edge. Basic research dis­cov­ery sci­ence and clin­i­cal treat­ment devel­op­ment sci­ence have made great progress. With­in Psy­chi­a­try there was stan­dard set­ting advance in the 1960’s through the NIMH-VA coop­er­a­tive stud­ies to the method­ol­o­gy of assess­ing the effi­ca­cy of psy­chophar­ma­co­log­i­cal drugs. This work estab­lished prin­ci­ples adopt­ed for the study of med­ica­tions in the oth­er areas of med­i­cine. The study of psy­chother­a­py, how­ev­er, lagged in devel­op­ment. In my role of Chief of the Psy­choso­cial Treat­ments Branch of the NIMH , I helped con­tribute to the advance of that work by sup­port­ing the efforts of an extra­or­di­nary group of indi­vid­u­als led by Irene Waskow who car­ried out the TDCRP. This study estab­lished the method­olo­gies that made pos­si­ble the effec­tive sci­en­tif­ic study of the effi­ca­cy of psy­chother­a­pies. The evi­dence base and of such treat­ments as CBT, DBT, Moti­va­tion­al Enhance­ment Treat­ment and oth­er evi­dence-based psy­chother­a­pies derives direct­ly from this study and its sem­i­nal influ­ence. This was a con­tri­bu­tion to the sci­ence of Clin­i­cal Treat­ment Devel­op­ment research.

I would say that my major inter­est, how­ev­er, has been in the next step, the sci­ence of knowl­edge trans­fer. There has been and remains a long and cost­ly (in terms par­tic­u­lar­ly of unnec­es­sary suf­fer­ing) lag between the devel­op­ment of new knowl­edge and its com­mon and effec­tive use in prac­tice.

In order the help the field moved for­ward, I have worked for the last 20 years in the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of meth­ods to effec­tive­ly trans­fer knowl­edge into prac­tice. Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Health News: August 2008

Here you have a roundup of inter­est­ing recent news on cog­ni­tive health top­ics and my com­men­tary:

1) Play­ing Video Games Offers Learn­ing Across Life Span, Say Stud­ies

2) Men­tal Floss at Mil­i­tary Offi­cer Mag­a­zine

3) Brain Train­ing dom­i­nates ’08 Euro sales (CVG Online)

4) Dakim’s [m]Power Adopt­ed by 150 Senior Liv­ing Com­mu­ni­ties … (Busi­ness Wire)

5) Clum­sy kids more like­ly to become obese adults: study (CBC)

——————-
1) There were a few inter­est­ing research papers pre­sent­ed at the last  Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion con­ven­tions around the theme:

Play­ing Video Games Offers Learn­ing Across Life Span, Say Stud­ies
–Skills Trans­fer to Class­room, Sur­gi­cal Pro­ce­dures, Sci­en­tif­ic Think­ing (press release).

Prob­a­bly the most inter­est­ing study was that of 303 laparo­scop­ic sur­geons, which “showed that sur­geons who played video games requir­ing spa­tial skills and hand dex­ter­i­ty and then per­formed a drill test­ing these skills were sig­nif­i­cant­ly faster at Read the rest of this entry »

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