On January 18–20, 2010 Alvaro Fernandez and his team at SharpBrains put together a splendid line-up of speakers on a wide range of topics related to emerging brain fitness research, technologies, and markets, and clinical cognitive and mental health issues. IFTF was proud to be a sponsor of this event.
Although the conference was virtual, aside from the rigors of travel and a basket of bagels on the hallway table, my level of intellectual stimulation (and fatigue) mirrored most of my face-to-face conference experiences. It was a technical success and the content was first-rate.
The conference was a great opportunity for us at IFTF to gather data and map the research landscape in cognitive fitness, especially as it relates to our 2010 Health Horizons research project around “Neurocentric Health.”
I’d like to share a small sample of the observations, shifts, and points of interest we took from the conference.
1. The forecast of Dr. Michael Merzenich, an expert in brain plasticity, that clinical practice and treatment will move from drug/surgery-based interventions to non-invasive techniques, practices, and preventative coaching is profound. This would change the timing, level, and quality of treatment interventions, and could be a significant catalyst to the (arguably) needed change in medical/clinical point of care and culture that Dr. P Murali Doraiswamy of Duke University mentioned as well. This shift would impact the insurance industry and risk profiles, payment mechanisms, and, most importantly, might be better for patients as well.
2. I am always wary of reductionist models and the tendency to focus our attention on certain organs or methods at the expense of the whole system. This hesitation is especially important when the focus is on the brain. I was very happy to hear [Read more…] about Pumping up the Brain: Reflections on the SharpBrains Virtual Summit