Akili Interactive, a startup that has developed a video game to help treat attention-deficit disorders in kids, has agreed to go public through a merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check companies.
The deal, which confirms a Bloomberg News report, values the combined entity at about $1 billion, Akili and Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. It will provide as much as $412 million in gross cash proceeds, the companies said. [Read more…] about Digital therapeutics pioneer Akili Interactive plans to go public in mid-2022 at a $1B valuation
Treating Severe Depression with On-Demand Brain Stimulation (UCSF press release):
UCSF Health physicians have successfully treated a patient with severe depression by tapping into the specific brain circuit involved in depressive brain patterns and resetting them using the equivalent of a pacemaker for the brain.
“This study points the way to a new paradigm that is desperately needed in psychiatry,” said Andrew Krystal, PhD, professor of psychiatry and member of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “We’ve developed a precision-medicine approach that has successfully managed our patient’s treatment-resistant depression by identifying and modulating the circuit in her brain that’s uniquely associated with her symptoms.” [Read more…] about Study: Personalized, closed-loop neuromodulation can (one day) become a “pacemaker for the brain”
International pharma Boehringer Ingelheim and prescription digital therapeutics company Click Therapeutics have inked a $500 million-plus deal to jointly develop and commercialize a digital treatment for patients with schizophrenia. [Read more…] about Click Therapeutics and Boehringer Ingelheim partner to develop and market a digital therapeutic to treat schizophrenia
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.
Epigenetic Changes Guide Development of Different Brain Regions (Dana Foundation):
“It’s one of the greatest standing mysteries in neuroscience: Given that each cell in the human body contains the same DNA, how, exactly, does the brain develop into distinct functional regions, supported by different cell types? And how might that developmental program go awry, resulting in neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia or autism? The answers may be the epigenome [Read more…] about Epigenetics research opens potential door to prevent neurodevelopmental disorders
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 more…] about Study: Psychedelics can promote neural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex and expand pathways for mental health