Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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NHS Choices helps improve brain health and science literacy by reporting findings in context — as seen in this brain training & schizophrenia example

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Video game-based ‘brain train­ing’ may help peo­ple with schiz­o­phre­nia (NHS Choic­es):

Peo­ple with schiz­o­phre­nia can be trained by play­ing a video game to con­trol the part of the brain linked to ver­bal hal­lu­ci­na­tions,” BBC News reports Read the rest of this entry »

Brain training (cognitive behavioural therapy) seen as most cost-effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome

Pac­ing ‘not cost-effec­tive’ for CFS (NHS Choic­es):

Brain train­ing is most cost-effec­tive treat­ment for chron­ic fatigue syn­drome,” BBC News reports, while pac­ing ther­a­pies (learn­ing to live with­in lim­its) “offer lit­tle val­ue”.

This news is based on research that aimed to deter­mine how cost-effec­tive four treat­ment options were for peo­ple with CFS. These were: Read the rest of this entry »

Does cognitive therapy work; should the NHS provide more of it for depression?

Excel­lent arti­cle in the UK’s news­pa­per The Inde­pen­dent on the grow­ing adop­tion of cog­ni­tive-behav­iour­al ther­a­py (CBT) by the Nation­al Health Ser­vice (NHS). Very rel­e­vant to the US too, giv­en that a grow­ing num­ber of insur­ers are offer­ing com­put­er­ized CBT. Quotes:

Why are we ask­ing this now?42-15315934

There is grow­ing frus­tra­tion among GPs at the dif­fi­cul­ty they face in pro­vid­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal ther­a­py for patients with men­tal prob­lems includ­ing depres­sion. A sur­vey by the Roy­al Col­lege of Gen­er­al Prac­ti­tion­ers (RCGP) pub­lished at the week­end found almost two-thirds of respon­dents said they were “rarely” able to obtain treat­ment for patients with­in two months. Get­ting help for chil­dren who had suf­fered abuse or trau­ma was even more dif­fi­cult. Pro­fes­sor Steve Field, the pres­i­dent of the RCGP, said: “Peo­ple should have access to approved treat­ments, and this has to be a wake-up call.”

What does this mean for patients?

Where­as in the past, GPs might have pre­scribed Prozac or oth­er anti­de­pres­sants, cog­ni­tive-behav­iour­al ther­a­py (CBT) is now the treat­ment of first choice – where it is avail­able – for the mil­lions who turn up com­plain­ing they can­not cope. In 2007, the Gov­ern­ment ear­marked £173m to train 3,600 extra ther­a­pists by 2010.

So why the short­age of ther­a­pists?

The cash is no longer ring-fenced and has alleged­ly been siphoned away to pay for oth­er projects. The RCGP and Mind, the men­tal-health char­i­ty, are cam­paign­ing for a com­mit­ment from all three main polit­i­cal par­ties to ring-fence cash for talk­ing ther­a­pies. The Nation­al Insti­tute for Health and Clin­i­cal Excel­lence (Nice) says CBT should be the first-line treat­ment for mild to mod­er­ate depres­sion, fol­lowed by drugs only if it proves unsuc­cess­ful.”

Keep read­ing  The Big Ques­tion: Does cog­ni­tive ther­a­py work – and should the NHS pro­vide more of it for depres­sion? (The Inde­pen­dent)

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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