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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation shows early promise to ameliorate depression, especially if combined with other therapies and dosage optimized

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Tran­scra­nial Direct Cur­rent Stim­u­la­tion Promis­ing for Major Depres­sive Dis­or­der (Psy­chi­a­try Advi­sor):

Tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) is an inves­tiga­tive modal­i­ty for major depres­sive dis­or­der (MDD) that has shown some promis­ing results. Though it has a while before it is approved by the US Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion, clin­i­cians and patients have been clam­or­ing for an effec­tive treat­ment for MDD that is not asso­ci­at­ed with harm­ful adverse effects. Read the rest of this entry »

Meta-analysis finds value in teaching the science of neuroplasticity, especially for math achievement among at-risk students

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The ‘Brain’ in Growth Mind­set: Does Teach­ing Stu­dents Neu­ro­science Help? (Edu­ca­tion Week):

Teach­ing stu­dents the sci­ence of how their brains change over time can help them see intel­li­gence as some­thing they can devel­op, rather than innate and unchange­able, finds a new analy­sis of 10 sep­a­rate stud­ies online in the jour­nal Trends in Neu­ro­science and Edu­ca­tion.

Teach­ing stu­dents the con­cept of neuroplasticity—the abil­i­ty of the brain to make new neur­al con­nec­tions as a result of experience—is a com­mon tac­tic in help­ing stu­dents devel­op a so-called “growth” rather than “fixed” mind­set … on aver­age, such inter­ven­tions improved stu­dents’ moti­va­tion, they par­tic­u­lar­ly ben­e­fit­ed stu­dents and sub­jects which pri­or stud­ies have shown are at high risk of devel­op­ing a fixed mind­set. Read the rest of this entry »

Meta-analysis finds sustained benefits of neurofeedback for kids with ADHD

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In neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD, indi­vid­u­als learn to alter their typ­i­cal pat­tern of brain­wave activ­i­ty, i.e., EEG activ­i­ty, to one that is con­sis­tent with a focused and atten­tive state.

This is done by col­lect­ing EEG data from indi­vid­u­als as they focus on stim­uli pre­sent­ed on a com­put­er screen. Their abil­i­ty to con­trol the stim­uli, e.g., keep­ing the smile on a smi­ley face keep­ing a video play­ing, depends on their main­tain­ing an EEG state that reflects focused atten­tion.

Over time, most indi­vid­u­als bet­ter at this. Sup­port­ers of neu­ro­feed­back argue that learn­ing to alter EEG activ­i­ty and focus bet­ter dur­ing train­ing even­tu­al­ly gen­er­al­izes to real-world tasks that require strong atten­tion skills, e.g., read­ing, home­work, etc.

Although many experts remain skep­ti­cal of this approach, despite numer­ous sup­port­ive stud­ies, a recent­ly pub­lished meta-analy­sis of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment pro­vides impor­tant new sup­port. Read the rest of this entry »

Evidence review finds that computer-based cognitive training can significantly improve memory in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)

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Com­put­er-Based Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Improves Mem­o­ry Domains in Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis (Neu­rol­o­gy Advi­sor):

Com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing may assist in improv­ing mem­o­ry in patients with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis (MS), accord­ing to a sys­tem­at­ic review pub­lished in Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis and Relat­ed Dis­or­ders.

A total of 9 stud­ies report­ing the use of com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing in patients with MS were includ­ed in Read the rest of this entry »

To Harness Neuroplasticity, Start with Enthusiasm

We are the archi­tects and builders of our own brains.

For mil­len­nia, how­ev­er, we were obliv­i­ous to our enor­mous cre­ative capa­bil­i­ties. We had no idea that our brains were chang­ing in response to our actions and atti­tudes, every day of our lives. So we uncon­scious­ly and ran­dom­ly shaped our brains and our lat­ter years because we believed we had an immutable brain that was at the mer­cy of our genes.

Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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