Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Executive Functions in Health and Disease: New book to help integrate Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

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Neuroscience used to be the monopoly of a few elite universities located in a handful of countries. Neuropsychology used to be a quaint niche discipline relatively unconnected to the larger world of neuroscience and content in its methods with paper-and-pencil tests. Read the rest of this entry »

5 trends shaping the future of brain enhancement and neuropsychology

Presentation by Alvaro Fernandez at the New York Neuropsychology Group (NYNG) 2017 Annual Spring Conference.

Description: Hundreds of companies around the globe–now including Elon Musk’s Neuralink and even Facebook–are researching and developing new ways to help brain owners be smarter, sharper, and healthier. What explains this flurry of activity, and where may it be headed? What are the opportunities and challenges for the Neuropsychologists of the Future? We will structure the conversation around five emerging and thought-provoking statements:

1. There are 7.5 billion human brains out there, and everyone needs help

2. Lifelong neuroplasticity means all those brains can “sculpt” themselves

3. Mobile, sensing, wearable technologies, coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), provide a new platform to harness that neuroplasticity for good

4. Entrepreneurship and investments are fueling accelerated growth

5. Professionals are stepping up to help educate consumers and patients.

To learn more, read Five reasons the future of brain enhancement is digital, pervasive and (hopefully) bright and explore these 25 Key Resources to Improve Brain Health and Mental Health.

May 6th, New York City: Anticipating and Shaping the Neuropsychology of the Future

Heads-up about an upcoming joint meeting by the New York Neuropsychology Group and the Psychology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences.

  • What: Neuropsychology of the future and how we can prepare for it today
  • When: Saturday May 6th, 2017, 10 am – 1 pm
  • Where: Podell Auditorium in Bernstein Pavilion, Mount Sinai Beth Israel 10 Nathan D Perlman Place NY, NY 10003

The Focus

Please join prominent neuropsychologists and industry leaders to explore the future of neuropsychology and how you can harness recent findings and technologies to prepare for Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: Mobile, data-rich apps to monitor and promote neurocognitive health

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BrainCheck raises $3 million for app to monitor brain health (TechCrunch):

“A Houston-based startup called BrainCheck has raised $3 million in seed funding for an app that helps users understand, by simply playing some games on an iPad, if they or a loved one may have suffered a concussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Centre for Brain Fitness at Baycrest: Interview with Dr. William Reichman

In April 2008, Baycrest, a leading research institute focused on aging and brain function, received $10-million from the Ontario Government to create a groundbreaking Centre for Brain Fitness. Its stated goal was to “develop and commercialize a range of products designed to improve the brain health of aging Ontarians and others around the world”.

“Our government is proud to support Baycrest and its invaluable work, which is already leading to the discovery of important new tools and approaches to treating brain diseases associated with aging,” said Minister of Research and Innovation, John Wilkinson.

We have Baycrest’s CEO with us today, to explore why Ontario and Baycrest chose to Bill Reichman Baycrestbecome pioneers in this area, and discuss some of the main opportunities, and challenges. Dr. William E. Reichman is President and CEO of Baycrest. Dr. Reichman, an internationally-known expert in geriatric mental health and dementia, is also Professor of Psychiatry on the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Alvaro Fernandez: Bill, thank you for your time. Let me start by asking, given that you just spoke at the recent Consumer Electronic Show, what do you make of the growing brain fitness field?

Bill Reichman: it looks like a classic example of a very promising but still early stage field – a lot of opportunity and enthusiasm, but also a lot of product claims that are not backed by solid research. Think about the physical fitness analogy: even today, after decades of progress, you still see people buying research-based products such as treadmills but also all types of random machines they see on TV and have not been subject to any validation. Similarly, consumers today do not know what to make of growing brain fitness claims. As another speaker pointed out, for the industry to fulfill its promise, it will need to be careful with research and claims, not to end up like the nutraceuticals category.

By the way, let me recognize that the work you are doing with SharpBrains reports and your website is very important to offer quality information.

Thank you. Let’s step back for a moment. Taking a, say, 10 years view, what is the main opportunity that technology-based brain fitness can offer to society?

First of all, let me say that I think we have an opportunity to make major progress in Brain Health in the XXI century, similar to what happened with Cardiovascular Health in the XX, and technology will play a crucial role.

Given the rapid advances we are witnessing today in the research and technology arenas, I feel confident in saying that in less than 10 years we will have both valid and reliable assessments of cognitive functions, that will be used both by Read the rest of this entry »

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