Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Dr. Albert Kwon, CEO of Brainnovations Winner AUGMENTx, wants to harness Augmented Reality to significantly ease access to Neurological Rehabilitation Therapies

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Albert, what sur­prised you the most from the Judges’ ques­tions and feed­back dur­ing the Brain­no­va­tions Pitch Con­test?

It was a pleas­ant sur­prise to receive so many votes and such great feed­back, which solid­i­fied my con­vic­tion that there is a great need to cre­ate new ther­a­py options for stroke patients and oth­er neu­ro­log­i­cal injuries, espe­cial­ly giv­en our aging pop­u­la­tion.  Med­ical sys­tems world­wide will strug­gle to han­dle the grow­ing bur­den of chron­ic ill­ness­es unless we start act­ing soon.

In a nut­shell, what is the core idea behind AUG­MEN­Tx?

The core idea is to lever­age visu­al-cog­ni­tive and visu­al-motor/sen­so­ry con­nec­tions of the brain to enhance per­for­mance in dis­ease states.  For exam­ple, mir­ror ther­a­py takes advan­tage of the mir­ror neu­ron path­way to improve post-stroke motor recov­ery and to alle­vi­ate phan­tom limb pain in limb amputees.  And we believe that these ther­a­pies can be deliv­ered on dig­i­tized AR plat­forms, instead of being always con­fined to few spe­cial­ized phys­i­cal reha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters.  Why not have them be acces­si­ble from the patient’s home Read the rest of this entry »

Photobiomodulation: A new and promising way to enhance brain function

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As is increas­ing­ly evi­dent, there are mul­ti­ple meth­ods aimed at enhanc­ing brain func­tion.

Brain train­ing and mind­ful­ness prac­tices are com­mon­ly used. Sub­stance-based meth­ods are pop­u­lar too, includ­ing hal­lu­cino­gens in the form of plant extracts, and drugs. Same as tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) and tran­scra­nial mag­net­ic stim­u­la­tion (TMS): All of these are promis­ing but have been chal­lenged — for exam­ple, the repro­ducibil­i­ty of elec­tri­cal-based stim­u­la­tion results is increas­ing­ly ques­tioned. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing American football before age 12 is linked to long-term neuropsychiatric and cognitive problems

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Tack­le foot­ball before age 12 may boost risks of cog­ni­tive, mood dis­or­ders (Ars Tech­ni­ca):

Tak­ing hard knocks ear­ly in life could shove foot­ball play­ers toward neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems lat­er, a new study sug­gests.

Among 214 for­mer ama­teur and pro­fes­sion­al male foot­ball play­ers, those who start­ed play­ing early—particularly before the age of 12—had greater risks of report­ing depres­sion and impaired behav­ioral reg­u­la­tion and exec­u­tive func­tion around their 50s, researchers found Read the rest of this entry »

Explore the Future of Public Health & Brain Health with David Bartrés-Faz, PI of the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative

We’re hap­py to announce that David Bartrés-Faz, Prin­ci­pal Inves­ti­ga­tor of the new Barcelona Brain Health Ini­tia­tive, will be speak­ing at the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit (Decem­ber 5–7th).

The Barcelona Brain Health Ini­tia­tive (BBHI) is a new research project pro­mot­ed by the Insti­tut Guttmann, with the sup­port from mem­bers of Har­vard Cat­a­lyst and Har­vard Med­ical School, already recruit­ing over 3,000 healthy vol­un­teers (with­out med­ical diag­no­sis of neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease or psy­chi­atric con­di­tion) between 40 and 65 years old. Dur­ing the next few years Read the rest of this entry »

Smart brains up in Canada: 11 early-stage neurotech entrepreneurs receive award by The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI)

A record 11 Ontario inno­va­tors award­ed $50,000 to become Ontario Neu­rotech Entre­pre­neurs (press release):

The Ontario Brain Insti­tute [OBI] today announced the 2017 win­ners of its pio­neer­ing Ontario Neu­rotech (ONtre­pre­neurs) pro­gram to help ear­ly-stage entre­pre­neurs take their ideas “from the lab to the mar­ket­place.”

Since 2012, the ONtre­pre­neurs pro­gram has award­ed $50,000 to each win­ner and has sup­port­ed 34 entre­pre­neurs to-date. The pro­gram flows direct­ly from OBI’s man­date to unlock the huge com­mer­cial and med­ical poten­tial from what is already one of the largest com­mu­ni­ties of brain sci­en­tists in the world. One new ben­e­fit, through a col­lab­o­ra­tion with IBM Cana­da, is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to access the entre­pre­neur­ial ser­vices offered through IBM Glob­al Entre­pre­neur Pro­gram Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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