Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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New Report Finds A Brain Health Revolution in the Making, Driven by Digital Technology and Neuroplasticity Research

2010MarketReportIn spite of the recent eco­nom­ic down­turn, rev­enues for dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies to assess, enhance and treat cog­ni­tion, or dig­i­tal brain health and fit­ness tools, grew 35% in 2009. “The con­ver­gence of demo­graph­ic and pol­i­cy trends with cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science dis­cov­er­ies and tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion is giv­ing birth to a nascent mar­ket­place that can fun­da­men­tal­ly trans­form what brain health is, how it is mea­sured, and how it is done,” says Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, mem­ber of the World Eco­nom­ic Forum’s Coun­cil on the Aging Soci­ety and Edi­tor-in-Chief of the report. “This ground­break­ing report can help pio­neers shape the emerg­ing toolk­it to ben­e­fit an aging soci­ety that increas­ing­ly seeks new ways to enhance cog­ni­tive func­tion­al­i­ty and men­tal well­ness across the lifes­pan.”

As the brain is thrust into the cen­ter of the health­care ecosys­tem, inno­v­a­tive cog­ni­tive health and brain fit­ness appli­ca­tions will play an increas­ing­ly impor­tant role in defin­ing neu­ro­cen­tric health,” adds Jake Duna­gan, Research Direc­tor at the Insti­tute For The Future.

Report: Trans­form­ing Brain Health with Dig­i­tal Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cog­ni­tion across the Lifes­pan: The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2010.

A major­i­ty among the 1,900+ deci­sion-mak­ers and ear­ly-adopters sur­veyed said they trust­ed the effec­tive­ness of non-inva­sive options above inva­sive options to enhance crit­i­cal brain func­tion­al­i­ty. Pro­fes­sion­al and intel­lec­tu­al chal­lenges were rat­ed very effec­tive by 61% of respon­dents, aer­o­bic exer­cise and read­ing books by 42%, med­i­ta­tion by 38%, com­put­er­ized brain train­ing by 26%, tak­ing pre­scrip­tion drugs by 13%, tak­ing sup­ple­ments by 12%, and self-med­icat­ing with drugs by 1%.

These are among the key find­ings of a 207-page mar­ket report released today by Sharp­Brains and pre­pared in col­lab­o­ra­tion with 24 lead­ing sci­en­tists and 10 inno­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tions — the most com­pre­hen­sive such research study done to ana­lyze emerg­ing research, tech­nolo­gies and mar­ket­place.

We must do for brain health in the 21st cen­tu­ry what we large­ly accom­plished in car­dio­vas­cu­lar health in the past cen­tu­ry. It’s time to take sci­en­tif­ic insights out of the lab and to iden­ti­fy prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions, mak­ing the main­te­nance of good brain fit­ness a pub­lic health pri­or­i­ty,” indi­cates William Reich­man, MD, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Bay­crest.

Oth­er Report High­lights are: Read the rest of this entry »

What impressed the Judging Panel re. Innovation Awards Winners and Finalists

Let me now share what the Judg­ing Pan­elAlvaroFer_finalfile_180310 and the Sharp­Brains team found most impres­sive from each Win­ner and Final­ist of the 2010 Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion Awards, accom­pa­nied by some addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on each of these 10 note­wor­thy ini­tia­tives and case stud­ies.

Grand Prize Win­ner

USA HockeyUSA Hock­ey, Inc., is the Nation­al Gov­ern­ing Body of the sport of ice hock­ey in the Unit­ed States. With a mem­ber­ship of near­ly 600,000 play­ers, coach­es, offi­cials and vol­un­teers that span all 50 states, USA Hock­ey seeks to pro­mote the growth of hock­ey and pro­vide the best pos­si­ble expe­ri­ence for all par­tic­i­pants by encour­ag­ing, devel­op­ing, advanc­ing and admin­is­ter­ing the sport.

Project Scope: The Nation­al Team Devel­op­ment Pro­gram (NTDP), a USA Hock­ey body, is a full-time devel­op­ment pro­gram aimed at prepar­ing under-18 stu­dent-ath­letes for par­tic­i­pa­tion on US Nation­al Teams. Its efforts focus both on high-cal­iber par­tic­i­pa­tion on the ice and indi­vid­ual skill devel­op­ment. The pro­gram is com­posed of two squads: the US Nation­al Under-18 and Under-17 Teams.

Dur­ing the past hock­ey sea­son, the NTDP imple­ment­ed a cog­ni­tive train­ing sys­tem designed to help hock­ey play­ers devel­op per­cep­tion and deci­sion-mak­ing skills called The Hock­ey Intel­li­Gym. Designed to enhance ‘Hock­ey Sense’—or the way play­ers gath­er infor­ma­tion from their sur­round­ings, make and exe­cute decisions—The Hock­ey Intel­li­Gym train­ing sys­tem uti­lizes a soft­ware-based train­ing envi­ron­ment with cus­tomized algo­rithms that adjust train­ing pro­grams to indi­vid­ual play­ers accord­ing to abil­i­ty and progress. Play­ers engaged in a twice-a-week cog­ni­tive train­ing reg­i­men that became an inte­gral part of their over­all train­ing pro­gram dur­ing which time cog­ni­tive sci­en­tists mon­i­tored play­ers’ per­for­mance and pro­vid­ed coach­ing staff with analy­ses and progress reports. Among sta­tis­ti­cal fig­ures mea­sured, the most notable was the win ratio of teams involved, as Intel­li­Gym trained team won more games.

The Intel­li­Gym pro­gram took more than two years and $2 mil­lion to put togeth­er with the col­lab­o­ra­tion of Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing (ACE) and was enabled by a grant from the BIRD Foun­da­tion who sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly reviewed the plan and finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed it.

Project Leader: Scott Mon­aghan, Direc­tor of Oper­a­tions, USA Hock­ey Nation­al Team Devel­op­ment Pro­gram

Select­ed com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: Excel­lent team approach between spe­cial­ist, coach and play­er. Great con­cept and need, and insights/model could apply very broad­ly to skill devel­op­ment. The adap­ta­tion of cog­ni­tive train­ing to this par­tic­u­lar sports domain is clever and can be gen­er­al­ized to a wide range of oth­er activ­i­ties. I was impressed with the USA Hock­ey Nation­al Team Devel­op­ment Pro­gram and their Hock­ey Intel­li­gym. To develop/adapt such a pro­gram and clear­ly demon­strate it’s impact on real-life per­for­mance, is fan­tas­tic. There is also a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to expand this to even more ath­letes and sports and to every­day life.

Sil­ver Prize Win­ners

AllstateAll­state (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest pub­licly held per­son­al lines insur­er. All­state is rein­vent­ing pro­tec­tion and retire­ment to help indi­vid­u­als in approx­i­mate­ly 17 mil­lion house­holds pro­tect what they have today and bet­ter pre­pare for tomor­row.

Project Scope: All­state embarked on a jour­ney with Posit Sci­ence Cor­po­ra­tion to eval­u­ate the inter­est in and effec­tive­ness of Posit Science’s software—leveraging tech­nol­o­gy shown in Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health fund­ed stud­ies to improve visu­al pro­cess­ing skills impor­tant for safe driving—to test a soft­ware pro­gram (Insight) in Penn­syl­va­nia. Select­ed dri­vers, 50 years and old­er, were invit­ed to help val­i­date the impact cog­ni­tive train­ing has on dri­ving safe­ty.

The project was a “proof of con­cept” for what may turn out to be a sig­nif­i­cant effort by All­state to pre­vent injuries and save lives, enable old­er peo­ple to main­tain their inde­pen­dence longer and pro­vide peace of mind to adult chil­dren faced with dif­fi­cult deci­sions as par­ents age. The most impor­tant reduc­tion was in insured loss­es and result­ing injuries, trau­ma and dis­rup­tion to the lives of those involved in auto col­li­sions. After observ­ing the acci­dent behav­ior of those who com­plet­ed the Posit pro­gram, rel­a­tive to a well select­ed con­trol group, All­state saw a mea­sur­able decline that was sta­tis­ti­cal­ly valid.

Project Leader: Tom War­den, Assis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent, All­state Research and Plan­ning Cen­ter

Select­ed com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: The poten­tial impact of this pro­gram is sec­ond to none. I was impressed with Allstate’s project and their results that showed that the Posit Sci­ence soft­ware pos­i­tive­ly impact­ed the acci­dent records of those com­plet­ing the pro­gram. All­state should be com­mend­ed for try­ing some­thing new and dif­fer­ent and for cre­at­ing such an ini­tia­tive. Pret­ty soon I can imag­ine brain fit­ness dis­counts along­side safe dri­ver and oth­er dis­counts.

images (1)Nation­wide, based in Colum­bus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diver­si­fied insur­ance and finan­cial ser­vices orga­ni­za­tions in the U.S. and is rat­ed A+ by A.M. Best. The com­pa­ny pro­vides a full range of per­son­al­ized insur­ance and finan­cial ser­vices, includ­ing includ­ing auto and life insur­ance, pen­sions, health and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty ser­vices, and more.

Project Scope: Nation­wide Mutu­al Insur­ance worked with ben­e­fits provider OptumHealth and their part­ner Brain Resource to add a Web based brain train­ing tool (MyBrain­So­lu­tions) to help employ­ees enhance pos­i­tiv­i­ty, emo­tion­al resilience and deal with oth­ers more effec­tive­ly — all key ele­ments to pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. More than 500 employ­ees enrolled in the company’s ‘Healthy Hol­i­day Chal­lenge’ dur­ing the first week. The results of the new resource led to more pos­i­tive behav­ior changes and greater pro­duc­tiv­i­ty among the work­force.

As part of the MyBrain­So­lu­tions launch, asso­ciates were asked to reg­is­ter, take a base­line brain assess­ment, accu­mu­late a tar­get num­ber of points dur­ing a 30-day peri­od and then take a sec­ond brain assess­ment. The com­pa­ny found that aspects of pos­i­tiv­i­ty, emo­tion­al resilience and social skills improved in the short 6‑week ini­tia­tive and saw small changes in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty were notice­able as well. 87% of those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gram indi­cat­ed they were plan­ning to take addi­tion­al steps to improve health after par­tic­i­pat­ing while 33.5% wouldn’t have accessed oth­er resources to address health and well­be­ing if it weren’t for the ini­tia­tive.

Project Leader: Kath­leen Herath, AVP Health & Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty

Select­ed com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: Har­vard Busi­ness Review esti­mat­ed a cou­ple years ago that $150B is lost annu­al­ly as a result of lost employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Giv­en all of the life events and tran­si­tions that indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­ence each year that can dis­tract, this pro­vides a fea­si­ble and attrac­tive lever for employ­ees to take advan­tage of. Employ­ers of the future that can imple­ment inno­v­a­tive mod­els such as these to adapt to the chang­ing needs of employ­ees, enhance employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and help to rede­fine what work means by infus­ing the pro­fes­sion­al with the per­son­al will win, and have as a reward loy­al employ­ees, a hap­py cul­ture, and an over­all high­er per­form­ing work­force. The pos­i­tive self-report mea­sures were impres­sive as well as the improve­ments in such a short peri­od of time. Seems to have poten­tial for replic­a­bil­i­ty with scal­able, low-cost pro­grams. In prin­ci­ple this approach could have large soci­etal ben­e­fits. Imple­ment­ing cog­ni­tive train­ing in a work place is nov­el and taps into the desire to opti­mize pro­fes­sion­al func­tion­ing as well as stave off decline.  The emo­tion­al and self-reg­u­la­tion train­ing is extreme­ly impor­tant in the work­place set­ting.

Rest of Top 10 Final­ists

(Note: out of the 40 orga­ni­za­tions that sub­mit­ted entries to the inau­gur­al 2010 Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion Awards, 10 became Top 10 Final­ists. Here we want to rec­og­nize the orga­ni­za­tions which, while not win­ning the over­all con­test, did impress the judg­ing pan­el with the qual­i­ty of their ongo­ing ini­tia­tives. They are ordered by the approx­i­mate age of their end user pop­u­la­tion, from younger to old­er:

Most Inno­v­a­tive Spe­cial Ed School

Arrowsmith SchoolArrow­smith School offers a com­pre­hen­sive suite of cog­ni­tive pro­grams for stu­dents with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, tar­get­ing 19 areas of the brain most com­mon­ly involved in learn­ing. The Arrow­smith Pro­gram, which orig­i­nat­ed in Toron­to, is now offered in schools in Cana­da and the US.

Project Scope: Help reme­di­ate Learn­ing Dis­abil­i­ties by devel­op­ing and imple­ment­ing a pro­pri­etary suite of neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty-based exer­cis­es in 3 for­mats: com­put­er-based, audi­to­ry, pen and paper.

  • Project Leader: Bar­bara Arrow­smith, Direc­tor
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el:  How easy would it be to say “they’s not smart enough” or “they’re mak­ing excus­es”, instead of “they have a cog­ni­tive short­com­ing that can be addressed.” The tar­get audi­ence of 5–10% of school chil­dren with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties can now have a fight­ing chance if mod­els like these can be scaled through pol­i­cy and/or repli­ca­tion. This gets my vote as the mod­el cre­ates almost immea­sur­able life­time impact for those for­tu­nate enough to be reap all the cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits of the pro­gram. Arrow­smith efforts since 1979 puts them in a class of their own as pio­neers. Arrow­smith also has a process learn­ing from and refin­ing its ini­tia­tives. Pro­gram can be built fur­ther on very sol­id foun­da­tions.

Most Inno­v­a­tive Behav­ioral Health Provider

UBHCUni­ver­si­ty Behav­ioral Health­Care (UBHC) was estab­lished in 1971 as a divi­sion of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Med­i­cine and Den­tistry of New Jer­sey (UMDNJ) and is one of the largest providers of behav­ioral health­care ser­vices in the coun­try.

Project Scope: Reme­di­ate cog­ni­tive impair­ments asso­ci­at­ed with severe men­tal ill­ness by devel­op­ing and imple­ment­ing an inno­v­a­tive cur­ricu­lum and pro­pri­etary man­u­al for cog­ni­tive rehab sup­port groups, com­bin­ing best of Cog­ni­tive Behav­ioral Ther­a­py, cog­ni­tive train­ing, and social skills train­ing.

  • Project Leader: Steven M. Sil­ver­stein, Ph.D., Direc­tor, Divi­sion of Schiz­o­phre­nia Research & Direc­tor of Research
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: Note­wor­thy per­son-cen­tered approach, focused on how to impact qual­i­ty of life with self-empow­er­ment tools and social sup­port.

Most Inno­v­a­tive Foun­da­tion

aaaftslogoThe AAA Foun­da­tion for Traf­fic Safe­tyhas a mis­sion to iden­ti­fy prob­lems, fos­ter research that seeks solu­tions, and dis­sem­i­nate infor­ma­tion and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als that pro­mote good safe­ty prac­tices.

Project Scope: Improve dri­ving safe­ty among old­er adults by  pro­mot­ing and test­ing visu­al pro­cess­ing train­ing pro­gram InSight by Posit Sci­ence.

  • Project Leader: Peter Kissinger, Pres­i­dent and CEO
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: Very high qual­i­ty pro­gram Inno­v­a­tive. Emi­nent­ly scal­able. Ben­e­fits users, AAA, and com­mu­ni­ty at large – very good synergy.This approach grounds cog­ni­tive train­ing in an activ­i­ty that for many is crit­i­cal to inde­pen­dence. The tie to insur­ance will moti­vate the train­ing which may increase road safe­ty and have broad­er ben­e­fits for cog­ni­tive health.

Most Inno­v­a­tive Hos­pi­tal

Saint Lukes Brain and Stroke Institute LogoSaint Luke’s Brain and Stroke Insti­tute, part of Saint Luke’s Health Sys­tem in Kansas and Mis­souri, cov­ers the entire spec­trum of care includ­ing acute inter­ven­tion, pre­ven­tion of com­pli­ca­tions, sec­ondary pre­ven­tion and neu­rore­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Project Scope: Help extend healthy inde­pen­dent liv­ing and address cog­ni­tive impair­ments by mak­ing acces­si­ble a Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter that com­bines edu­ca­tion, assess­ments, lifestyle advice and tar­get­ed neu­rocog­ni­tive and mind­ful­ness-based train­ing.

  • Project Leader: John Cor­ba­ley, M.S., M.A., CCC/Sp., Direc­tor, Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter, Saint Luke’s Hos­pi­tal of Kansas City
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: Saint Luke’s pro­gram was impres­sive in a num­ber of ways. I liked that they worked with mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines to cre­ate a holis­tic pro­gram focused on improved brain health through cog­ni­tive train­ing, nutri­tion and exer­cise as well as oth­er activ­i­ties. It is no sur­prise that they have a wait list of users eager to join their pro­gram.

Most Inno­v­a­tive Adult Edu­ca­tion

OUSD Logo Color JPEG
Oak­land Uni­fied School Dis­trict has a mis­sion to ensure that all stu­dents grad­u­ate as car­ing, com­pe­tent, and crit­i­cal thinkers, as well as ful­ly-informed, engaged, and con­tribut­ing cit­i­zens, pre­pared to suc­ceed in col­lege and career. Adult and Career Edu­ca­tion ser­vices empow­er adults through through edu­ca­tion and train­ing.

Project Scope: Extend healthy inde­pen­dent liv­ing (for new pilot: improve aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess among at-risk stu­dents) by offer­ing a Brain Fit­ness Class that com­bines cur­ricu­lum, dis­cus­sions and com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing (by Posit Sci­ence, for old­er adults; by Lumos Labs, for new pilot with young adults).

  • Project Leader: Teri Barr, Brain Health Pro­gram Coor­di­na­tor
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: Strong approach to over­come some of the age bound­aries among tar­get­ed pop­u­la­tions. What I love the most about this won­der­ful suc­cess sto­ry is how this pro­gram has been able to appeal to indi­vid­u­als across socio-eco­nom­ic, demo­graph­ic, and edu­ca­tion­al back­grounds, and in the process deliv­er both real and per­ceived val­ue. One way I think it has done this is through pre­sent­ing a mul­ti-faceted val­ue propo­si­tion (i.e., build cog­ni­tive health + build com­mu­ni­ty + have fun in the process) in a sin­gle set­ting. Lessons learned were also very well artic­u­lat­ed, and the approach of com­bin­ing high-tech with high-touch I thought was inge­nious and real­is­tic giv­en the con­text.

Most Inno­v­a­tive Men­tal Health Asso­ci­a­tion

1-12754The Men­tal Health Asso­ci­a­tion of Rock­land Coun­ty, in New York State, is a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion with a mis­sion to pre­vent men­tal ill­ness and fos­ter men­tal well­ness through com­mu­ni­ty out­reach, direct ser­vice and advo­ca­cy for leg­is­la­tion and pro­grams.

Project Scope: Extend healthy inde­pen­dent liv­ing by offer­ing a cog­ni­tive health series of live events to engage the com­mu­ni­ty with a stig­ma-free, proac­tive brain fit­ness mes­sage, sup­port­ed by pro­fes­sion­al train­ing, social­iza­tion plat­forms and cog­ni­tive train­ing (by Cog­niFit).

  • Project Leader: Karen Oates, Direc­tor
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: So great to see a Men­tal Health Asso­ci­a­tion pro­mot­ing this impor­tant project and ally­ing with so many groups and orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing Cog­niFit, in doing so. Great that they have been able to over­come the stig­ma so often asso­ci­at­ed with aging and men­tal fit­ness through the project. With the man­u­al and pam­phlet, there are excel­lent repli­ca­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Most Inno­v­a­tive Health Plan

logoSCAN Health Plan has been focus­ing for more than 30 years on the unique needs of peo­ple with Medicare and is now the country’s fourth largest not-for-prof­it Medicare Advan­tage plan. The com­pa­ny cur­rent­ly has near­ly 120,000 mem­bers in Cal­i­for­nia and Ari­zona.

Project Scope: Extend healthy inde­pen­dent liv­ing by devel­op­ing the con­cept of a “SCAN Van” to deliv­er health screen­ings & edu­ca­tion com­bined with phys­i­cal and cog­ni­tive exer­cise (Wii gam­ing; touch screen-based cog­ni­tive train­ing by Hap­pyNeu­ron) in places where seniors gath­er.

  • Project Leader: Lena Perel­man, Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ty Out­reach
  • Select­ed Com­ments by Judg­ing Pan­el: A clever plan for the deliv­ery of cog­ni­tive exer­cis­es. SCAN’s is inno­v­a­tive not only because its mobile but because it presents a more holis­tic approach to brain health with its “mul­ti-pronged” pro­gram.

Here you can learn more about the 2010 Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion Awards.

Agenda: ASA Brain Health Day, Powered by SharpBrains

The Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging and Sharp­Brains have part­nered to co-pro­duce a American Society on Agingpro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment day for pro­fes­sion­als in the field of aging. The day is themed “New Tools, New Part­ner­ships”, and will take place on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2009, dur­ing ASA’s West Coast Con­fer­ence on Aging, in the Oak­land Mar­riot City Cen­ter, Oak­land, CA.

Giv­en aging pop­u­la­tion trends, it is clear that we need more and bet­ter trained aging pro­fes­sion­als, and that brain health needs to be a major com­po­nent in that train­ing. We are pleased to part­ner with Sharp­Brains to offer the lat­est think­ing, best prac­tices, and resources, to our mem­bers,” said Car­ole Ander­son, Vice Pres­i­dent of Edu­ca­tion.

The grow­ing inter­est in brain health and fit­ness among con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als alike needs to be accom­pa­nied by high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion­al ini­tia­tives to help sep­a­rate real­i­ty from hope from hype. We are hon­ored to part­ner with the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging in this impor­tant endeav­or,” said Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO & co-founder of Sharp­Brains and co-author of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness.

Descrip­tion and How to Reg­is­ter
Since 2006, healthy aging pio­neers have been active­ly eval­u­at­ing and imple­ment­ing an expand­ing menu of stim­u­lat­ing brain health pro­grams. The Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging and Sharp­Brains have part­nered to intro­duce aging pro­fes­sion­als to the best prac­tices in a vari­ety of com­mu­ni­ty-based and res­i­den­tial set­tings, dis­cuss emerg­ing trends that will affect your work in years to come, and offer you resources to under­stand and nav­i­gate through the grow­ing array of options.

Par­tic­i­pants will receive a com­pli­men­ta­ry and signed copy of the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (May 2009, $24.95).

Learn­ing objec­tives are:

- Under­stand the com­ple­men­tary val­ue the four main lifestyle pil­lars for life­long brain health and why “men­tal exer­cise”, beyond sim­ple “men­tal activ­i­ty”, is one of them.
— Iden­ti­fy the best mix of brain health prac­tices and tech­nolo­gies by dis­cussing real world case stud­ies in a vari­ety of set­tings: adult edu­ca­tion, inde­pen­dent liv­ing, assist­ed liv­ing.
— Dis­cuss the oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges of build­ing inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ships between a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions and a for-prof­it com­pa­nies.
— Explore emerg­ing trends in research, pub­lic health, life­long learn­ing, and tech­nol­o­gy, to ensure that health and aging pro­fes­sion­als are well equipped for years to come.

When and where: Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2009, at the Oak­land Mar­riott City Cen­ter.

Reg­is­tra­tion fees for Sharp­Brains clients and read­ers are $150 (offi­cial fees are $180) . Fee is for the full day ses­sion and includes up to six hours of CEU cred­its plus book and mate­ri­als.

You can Reg­is­ter HERE, using Part­ner Orga­ni­za­tion Code: WCSB.

The Pro­gram
9:00 — 10:30 am Keynote- The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness

This ses­sion will pro­vide an overview of the most recent research, guide­lines and resources to “Use It and Improve It”, sum­ma­riz­ing the main find­ings and top­ics from the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. It will debunk 10 brain fit­ness myths; dis­cuss how the brain works and the 4 pil­lars of brain main­te­nance; explain the dif­fer­ence between men­tal exer­cise and men­tal activ­i­ty and iden­ti­fy research-based ways to exer­cise our brains; and review what 21 brain fit­ness soft­ware pack­ages do and what they don’t do. Final­ly, the ses­sion will dis­cuss emerg­ing trends to ensure that health and aging pro­fes­sion­als are well equipped for years to come.

- Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, Sharp­Brains

11:00 to 12:00 noon Bring­ing Brain Fit­ness to the Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter

Sci­ence con­tin­ues to high­light the impor­tance of stay­ing active men­tal­ly as well as phys­i­cal­ly; peo­ple of all ages and sit­u­a­tions face the chal­lenge of learn­ing what brain exer­cise is, how it can help them, and how to incor­po­rate it into their busy lives. The Penin­su­la Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter (PJCC) has formed a unique part­ner­ship with vibrant­Brains, a pio­neer­ing gym for brain exer­cise, to explore new ways to bring brain fit­ness into the com­mu­ni­ty on top of its exist­ing fit­ness and edu­ca­tion­al activ­i­ties.

- Jane Post, Penin­su­la Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter; Lisa Schooner­man, vibrant­Brains

1:30 to 2:30 pm Lat­est Tech­nolo­gies and Brain Health: Val­ue and Lim­i­ta­tions

Four inno­v­a­tive prac­ti­tion­ers will share their first-hand expe­ri­ence imple­ment­ing com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams in dif­fer­ent set­tings: adult edu­ca­tion class­es, inde­pen­dent liv­ing, and assist­ed liv­ing. They will dis­cuss the Pros and Cons of tech­nol­o­gy pro­grams pro­vid­ed by Dakim, Posit Sci­ence and Cog­niFit, help­ing the audi­ence explore how tech­nol­o­gy can enhance exist­ing brain health and well­ness pro­grams and how this trend will affect their work in the future.

- James Arp, Bel­mont Vil­lage; Kari Olsen, Front Porch; Shel­lie Sul­li­van, Lake­view Vil­lage; Teri Barr, Oak­land Uni­fied School Dis­trict

2:30 to 3:15 pm Engag­ing the Com­mu­ni­ty to Inte­grate Brain Health Research into Life­long Learn­ing

OLLI @Berkeley has devel­oped a mem­ber­ship team to inves­ti­gate how to inte­grate neu­ro­science dis­cov­er­ies into their life­long learn­ing cur­ricu­lum and ongo­ing com­mu­ni­ty activ­i­ties. If old­er adults are told that, in addi­tion to exer­cise, nutri­tion, among oth­er things, men­tal stim­u­la­tion is required that is nov­el, chal­leng­ing and varied—how can life­long learn­ing cen­ters and adults them­selves judge what that is and how to inte­grate those under­stand­ings our activ­i­ties and lives?. Susan Hoff­man will share the method­ol­o­gy and insights of work­ing with the com­mu­ni­ty as well as with a wide range of experts and sci­en­tists, and dis­cuss what might be pos­si­ble in a vari­ety of insti­tu­tion­al set­tings such as yours.

- Susah Hoff­man, OLLI@Berkeley

3:30 to 4.30 pm San Fran­cis­co Alzheimer’s Edu­ca­tion & Pre­ven­tion Task­force: Get­ting Ready for the Future

The San Fran­cis­co May­or’s office, in part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of Aging & Adult Ser­vices recent­ly con­vened an expert pan­el and com­mit­tees to cre­ate a strate­gic plan for address­ing the needs of San Fran­cis­cans with mem­o­ry loss and demen­tia through the year 2020. Learn about the process, find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions on how the city of San Fran­cis­co plans to address edu­ca­tion and pre­ven­tion of demen­tia now and in the future.

- Eliz­a­beth Edger­ly, Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion; Bill Haskells, Depart­ment of Aging & Adult Ser­vices

4:30 pm What We Have Learned, What is Next

What are some of the pri­or­i­ties and chal­lenges for the next 12 months for the field at large, and for every­one involved? This inter­ac­tive ses­sion will help us sum­ma­rize the key high­lights from the whole day, iden­ti­fy emerg­ing assump­tions, themes, and pri­or­i­ties, and dis­cuss col­lab­o­ra­tive next steps.

- Car­ole Ander­son, Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging; Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, Sharp­Brains

Speak­er Bios
Alvaro Fernandez SharpBrainsAlvaro Fer­nan­dez is co-founder and CEO of Sharp­Brains, a lead­ing mar­ket research firm that tracks the mar­ket and research for cog­ni­tive assess­ments, train­ing, and games. A mem­ber of the World Eco­nom­ic Forum’s Glob­al Agen­da Coun­cils, he has been quot­ed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, USA Today, and more, and recent­ly co-authored the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice, and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp. Alvaro received mas­ters’ degrees in edu­ca­tion and busi­ness from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, and teach­es at UC-Berke­ley Osh­er Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute.Jane Post PJCCJane Post is the Asso­ciate Exec­u­tive Direc­tor at the Penin­su­la Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter. With a back­ground that start­ed in sum­mer youth camp­ing and tran­si­tioned into Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter group work, the Illi­nois native moved to the Bay Area in 1979 to begin her thriv­ing career with the Penin­su­la Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter (PJCC) in Fos­ter City. Serv­ing in posi­tions rang­ing from Youth Direc­tor to Senior Adult Direc­tor, Ms. Post has enjoyed over 30 suc­cess­ful years with the PJCC and today is the Cen­ter’s Asso­ciate Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. She holds a Mas­ter’s degree in Social Work from the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Lisa Schoonerman vibrantBrainsLisa Schooner­man is a co-founder at vibrant­Brains. Lisa held a vari­ety of tech­ni­cal and edi­to­r­i­al posi­tions with the Thom­son Cor­po­ra­tion in the Legal Pub­lish­ing divi­sion (now Thom­son­Reuters), begin­ning in Rochester, NY and then com­ing to San Fran­cis­co to work for what was then Ban­croft Whit­ney. Lisa’s work for Thom­son includ­ed a 3‑year assign­ment in the UK, where she was Edi­to­r­i­al Direc­tor of the group pro­vid­ing con­tent for West­law UK, the first inter­na­tion­al appli­ca­tion of the West­law data­base.

James Arp Belmont VillageJames Arp works as the West Region­al Direc­tor for Activ­i­ty and Mem­o­ry Pro­grams for Bel­mont Vil­lage, where he was involved in a pilot pro­gram using com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing. James has also worked as an Admin­is­tra­tor for sev­er­al Inter­me­di­ate Care Facil­i­ties for the Devel­op­men­tal­ly Dis­abled and in Guardian­ship, and has a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence Degree in Psy­chol­o­gy and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Dis­or­ders.

Kari Olson Front PorchKari Olson, Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cer of Front Porch, leads all tech­nol­o­gy ini­tia­tives for Front Porch and its part­ners. Kari is also the Pres­i­dent of the Front Porch Cen­ter for Tech­nol­o­gy Inno­va­tion and Well­be­ing whose mis­sion is to explore inno­v­a­tive uses of tech­nol­o­gy to empow­er indi­vid­u­als to live well, espe­cial­ly in their lat­er years. Kari is active­ly involved in the Cen­ter for Aging Ser­vices Tech­nolo­gies where she serves as a com­mis­sion­er, steer­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber and task group chair for Boomer Tech­nol­o­gy Needs Research and co-chair of the Provider Needs Research Work­group. Kari speaks reg­u­lar­ly around the coun­try on tech­nol­o­gy for aging ser­vices. Kari holds a BA in eco­nom­ics from Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les and has com­plet­ed grad­u­ate course work in edu­ca­tion at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Los Ange­les.

Teri Barr Oakland UnifiedTeri Barr admin­is­ters the brain fit­ness class­es for old­er adults at Oak­land Uni­fied School Dis­trict. She has a BFA from the Art Insti­tute of Chica­go and a MSPE from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois. In Illi­nois, she designed and imple­ment­ed well­ness class­es in Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege, Uni­ver­si­ty and Hos­pi­tal set­tings. Since mov­ing to Cal­i­for­nia, she has worked for OACE (Oak­land Adult and Career Edu­ca­tion) in the Old­er Adult Pro­gram. She start­ed research for brain health class­es in 2006 and began the pro­gram at OACE in 2007.

Shellie Sullivan Lakeview VillageShel­lie Sul­li­van is the Vol­un­teer Coor­di­na­tor at Lake­view Vil­lage, a faith-based, non­prof­it retire­ment com­mu­ni­ty in Lenexa for 800 seniors offer­ing active liv­ing and sup­port­ed options. Ms. Sul­li­van coor­di­nat­ed and sup­port­ed the cog­ni­tive train­ing por­tion of the Phys­i­cal & Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Study in which Lake­view par­tic­i­pat­ed under the super­vi­sion of Dr. Art Kramer, from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois. She admin­is­tered all of the cog­ni­tive pre- and post-assess­ments to Lake­view Vil­lage res­i­dents and com­mu­ni­ty vol­un­teers and guid­ed par­tic­i­pants using cog­ni­tive train­ing soft­ware through­out the entire study. Ms. Sul­li­van is a grad­u­ate from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty with a degree in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Susan Hoffman OLLI@BerkeleySusan E. Hoff­man is the direc­tor of the Osh­er Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute with­in the Vice Provost’s Office for Teach­ing and Learn­ing at UC Berke­ley. For the past fif­teen years she has worked at UC and CSU cam­pus­es launch­ing new inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and inter­na­tion­al pro­grams. Before then, she served as the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia Con­fed­er­a­tion of the Arts, rep­re­sent­ing Cal­i­for­nia artists, art edu­ca­tors and arts orga­ni­za­tions in Sacra­men­to and Wash­ing­ton for a decade. Her cre­ative work includes being a writer and film­mak­er. Her fac­ul­ty appoint­ments have been in cre­ative writ­ing, the­atre and polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy.

Elizabeth Edgerly Alzheimer's AssociationEliz­a­beth Edger­ly, Ph.D., is the Chief Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion and nation­al spokesper­son for the Asso­ci­a­tion’s Main­tain Your Brain pro­gram. She over­sees the many pro­grams of the Asso­ci­a­tion for patients, fam­i­lies and health care pro­fes­sion­als. In addi­tion, she staffs the Med­ical Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Coun­cil of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion — North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She received her Ph.D. in clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy at the State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York and spe­cial­ized in geropsy­chol­o­gy and neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy. Dr. Edger­ly joined the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion after com­plet­ing a fel­low­ship in clin­i­cal geropsy­chol­o­gy at the Palo Alto VA Hos­pi­tal.

How to Reg­is­ter

Reg­is­tra­tion fees for Sharp­Brains clients and read­ers are $150 (offi­cial fees are $180) . Fee is for the full day ses­sion and includes up to six hours of CEU cred­its plus book and mate­ri­als.

You can Reg­is­ter HERE, using Part­ner Orga­ni­za­tion Code: WCSB. 

About the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging

Found­ed in 1954, the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging is an asso­ci­a­tion of diverse indi­vid­u­als bound by a com­mon goal: to sup­port the com­mit­ment and enhance the knowl­edge and skills of those who seek to improve the qual­i­ty of life of old­er adults and their fam­i­lies. The mem­ber­ship of ASA is a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary array of pro­fes­sion­als who are con­cerned with the phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al, social, eco­nom­ic and spir­i­tu­al aspects of aging. They range from prac­ti­tion­ers, edu­ca­tors, admin­is­tra­tors, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, busi­ness peo­ple, researchers, stu­dents, and more. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it http://www.asaging.org/

About Sharp­Brains

Sharp­Brains is a mar­ket research & pub­lish­ing firm devot­ed to help­ing orga­ni­za­tions, pro­fes­sion­als and con­sumers nav­i­gate the brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive health field. The com­pa­ny was co-found­ed by exec­u­tive Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, mem­ber of the Glob­al Agen­da Coun­cils ini­tia­tive run by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, and neu­ro­sci­en­tist Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, inter­na­tion­al­ly renowned for his clin­i­cal work, research, and writ­ing. Sharp­Brains recent­ly released the The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice, and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (May 2009; $24.95). For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www.sharpbrains.com/

News: ASA Brain Health Day, powered by SharpBrains

I  am very excit­ed to pre-announce a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging (ASA) to co-pro­duce a Brain Health event, themed “New Tools, New Part­ner­ships”, to take place in Oak­land, CA, on Sep­tem­ber 11th. 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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