It is often assumed that a decrease in memory and brain function are inevitable parts of aging, but a new study of centenarians suggests otherwise.
Investigators found that despite the presence of neurological issues generally associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), many centenarians maintained high levels of cognitive performance.
(Henne Holstege, PhD, assistant professor at Amsterdam University Medical Center) said her interest in researching aging and cognitive health was inspired by the “fascinating” story of Hendrikje van Andel Schipper, who died at age 115 in 2005 “completely cognitively healthy.” Her mother, who died at age 100, was also cognitively intact at the end of her life. [Read more…] about Study with 330 centenarians finds that cognitive decline is not inevitable
Taking a Closer Look at COVID-19’s Effects on the Brain (NIH Director’s blog):
While primarily a respiratory disease, COVID-19 can also lead to neurological problems. The first of these symptoms might be the loss of smell and taste, while some people also may later battle headaches, debilitating fatigue, and trouble thinking clearly, sometimes referred to as “brain fog.” All of these symptoms have researchers wondering how exactly the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV‑2, affects the human brain. [Read more…] about Can COVID-19 coronavirus “invade” human brain tissue? (Quick answer: evidence so far is mixed)
Wow, that was a couple of very insightful discussions, via social media no less.
#1. The first one was about whether heads of state and candidates to high office should pass a cognitive/ mental fitness test. Click HERE to read and discuss some of the sharpest comments, such as…
- “I wonder what brought this up.”
- “Definitely. We routinely screen applicants for a wide range of jobs.”
- “Then the balance of political power would shift towards the designers of those tests.”
- “That’s what debates are for.”
- “Yes, but probably nobody would pass it.”
- “No, because if we can’t judge that for ourselves, then what business do we have voting at all?”
#2. The second debate centered on the future of mental health: In ten years, will we see DSM‑6 or Something Much Better (SMB‑1)? Would you say “Something better hopefully” or “Well considering we approach mental health from a disease model.…that’s the first problem” or “DSM is a tool, and a very useful one. As any other tool it depends on the use you make of it,” or something else.
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring as always new thinking, research and tools for lifelong brain health and mental fitness.
#4. Let’s understand how to increase resistance to tau and amyloid proteins so we can all become “super-agers.” Brain scans show lower accumulation of tau and amyloid pathology among cognitive “super-agers”
#6. Wanted: 30,000 volunteers! Large UC study to investigate when and how brain training transfers (or does not) to broader cognitive and health benefits
#7. Timely questions: “How common are neurological and psychiatric complications in patients with COVID-19? What proportion of neurological and psychiatric complications affect the (central nervous system) versus the peripheral nervous system, and are novel syndromes emerging? And who is most at risk?” Survey finds ischaemic stroke and altered mental status as most common neurological complications in severe COVID-19 cases
#8. “Our mind is one of the only things that we cannot consistently measure and quantify. And humans do remarkable things when we can measure something.” Kernel raises $53 million to ease access to rich neural data and market Neuroscience as a Service (NaaS)
#9. “We are taking proven cognitive behavioral therapies and fully automating them to deliver the care scalably and consistently as drugs.” Startup Big Health raises $39M to universalize access to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and poor sleep
#10. Building on Bill Gates’ original goal of ‘a computer on every desk,’ perhaps it’s time for ‘real-time mental health support on every phone.’ Microsoft announces support for three innovative mental health services harnessing artificial intelligence (AI)
#11. Resonance. Empathy. Awareness. Compassion. Hope. And our favorite… Humor. Six tips to help regulate stress levels in our organizations
#12. Finally, a fun brain teaser. What do you see, rectangles or circles?
Wishing you a good and safe August,
The SharpBrains Team
A new study shows that severe cases of the coronavirus can cause strokes and other neurological issues, or an “altered mental state” for patients.
The research, published in the British medical journal Lancet Psychiatry, looked at a small pool of severe COVID-19 cases. The researchers found more than 100 patients who had either neurological or psychiatric problems from the coronavirus.
Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.
— Erma Bombeck
The brain is the control center for all of our thoughts, actions, attitudes, and emotions. It’s the pilothouse on the riverboat of our lives. It’s Mission Control for all of our flights into space or time. It’s the air traffic controller that helps us navigate and reroute our paths based on incoming and outgoing information and how we’re feeling about it at the time. It’s the John Williams of our personal symphony. It’s the Mother Ship to our Starfleet; it’s … (Uh, sorry, I got carried away there, but I think you get my point!)
As I was working on the drafts of my latest book book, my own brain was very active, to say the least. [Read more…] about Exploring the human brain and how it responds to stress (1/3)
The perils of opening the mind (Boston Globe):
“Forget the joystick. Today you can use your mind alone to navigate virtual environments or fly real-world drones. You can buy sleek headbands that read your brain signals and help you meditate or stay focused. Or you can get them for your kids to make sure they’re working, not daydreaming [Read more…] about Let’s anticipate the potential misuse of neurological data to minimize the risks–and maximize the benefits