Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Neuroengineering meets neuroethics to address treatment-resistant depression

Dr. Maryam Shanechi. Cred­it: USC Viter­bi

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Is This the Future of Men­tal Health? (USC Viter­bi School of Engi­neer­ing):

Brain–machine inter­faces (BMIs) pro­vide a direct path­way to the brain to trans­late brain sig­nals into actions … Below, Shanechi (Note: Maryam Shanechi, PhD, assis­tant pro­fes­sor of elec­tri­cal and com­put­er engi­neer­ing) answers some ques­tions about her work and what the future might hold for our under­stand­ing and treat­ment of men­tal dis­or­ders.

What poten­tial does this hold for the future not just of men­tal health, but of under­stand­ing our brains as a whole?

Neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders are a major cause of dis­abil­i­ty world­wide with depres­sive dis­or­ders being the most dis­abling among them. About 30% of major depres­sion patients are treat­ment-resis­tant – that’s about 5 mil­lion peo­ple in the US alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Psychedelics can promote neural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex and expand pathways for mental health

– Cred­it: Cell Reports 2018 23, 3170–3182DOI: (10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.022). Copy­right © 2018 The Authors

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Psy­che­delics in Neu­rol­o­gy: Poten­tial for Improv­ing Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty (Neu­rol­o­gy­Times):

Back in the 1950s, research was prov­ing that psy­che­del­ic agents could be effec­tive in the treat­ment of var­i­ous neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, just as sci­ence was explor­ing their ben­e­fi­cial effects, the coun­ter­cul­ture was explor­ing and embrac­ing their effects. Slow­ly but sure­ly, psy­che­delics were asso­ci­at­ed with rebel­lious youth and the tumul­tuous anti-war move­ment. As a result, the gov­ern­ment shut down most of the research.

The 1990s saw renewed inter­est in psy­che­del­ic com­pounds as a means to address neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Research explored the ben­e­fits of MDMA and ket­a­mine to treat mood dis­or­ders and post­trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der. Now, a new study sheds even more light on the promise these agents might pro­vide. Read the rest of this entry »

Mental health meets the digital revolution: Mindstrong Health raises $14 million to modernize the diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders via artificial intelligence (AI) and smartphones

Mind­strong Health Rais­es $14 Mil­lion in Series‑A Fund­ing (press release):

Mind­strong Health, a start­up trans­form­ing the diag­no­sis and treat­ment of neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders through the pow­er of AI and ubiq­ui­tous mobile tech­nol­o­gy, today announced that it has secured a $14 mil­lion round of Series‑A fund­ing. Led by Fore­site Cap­i­tal and ARCH Ven­ture Part­ners, the round includ­ed 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,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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