Until recently, mental health was a relative blip on the radar of venture capitalists. But over the past few years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, private investors have made a dramatic run for this space, pouring $3.1 billion into mental health ventures by the third quarter of 2021 alone, according to Rock Health, a seed fund that supports startups working in digital health. That represents a third of all digital health funding for 2021, more than 7 times the amount of funding placed in such ventures in 2015. [Read more…] about APA: With digital mental health going mainstream, will/ should psychologists be able to “prescribe” interventions?
While carefully controlled clinical trials are essential for establishing scientific support for different ADHD treatments, it is also important to examine how parents feel about the treatments they actually select for their child.
How parents feel about ADHD treatments they have tried for their child provides an important complement to published clinical trials data, and can also help guide parents’ treatment choices. [Read more…] about Survey of 2500 families finds what ADHD treatments seem to work/ not work as applied in the real world
Click Therapeutics, Inc. (“Click”), a leader in Digital Therapeutics™ solutions as prescription medical treatments, today announced $30 million in debt financing from K2 HealthVentures (K2HV), a healthcare-focused specialty finance company, to accelerate commercialization of its leading smoking cessation solution, Clickotine™, and to advance its pipeline of clinically-validated digital therapeutics [Read more…] about Click Therapeutics raises $30 million in debt to advance commercialization of smoking cessation app Clickotine
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating neuroscience findings and tips, combined with fun brain teasers.
#1. To celebrate this quite-challenging Thanksgiving, here are five fun brain teasers that readers have enjoyed the most this year so far. It is always good to learn more about (and appreciate) that most precious resource we all (yes, all) have up there! Five fun brain teasers to thank evolution for our human brains and minds
#2. Want more? Ready, Set, Go! A few brain teasers to flex those cognitive muscles
#3. “[Breathing techniques] are allowing you to consciously take control of your breathing so you can take control of your nervous system so you can take control of your anxiety” — James Nestor, author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. New book shares science and techniques to breathe better and promote calmness not anxiety
#4. Voice does matter…especially in areas of potential disagreement. To call, or to text, that is the (mental well-being) question
#5. Fascinating research + innovation event brought by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and multiple partners. Save the Date: Promoting Brain Health for Life, December 15–16th, online.
#6. “This isn’t a battle between AI and doctors, it’s about how to optimize doctors’ ability to deliver better care” — P. Murali Doraiswamy, director of the Neurocognitive Disorders Program at Duke University. Next: Analyzing typing speed, speech and sleep patterns to identify cognitive decline, dementia, Parkinson’s, and more
#7. Google’s X team shares 3 valuable lessons learned from their ambitious and (for the time being) unsuccessful moonshot: Alphabet’s X shares Amber EEG system to expand the quest for mental health biomarkers
#8. “An exercise prescription is an important treatment option and a great adjunct to medications. The key is prescribing physical activity in a way that the patient will comply and remain engaged with.” Debate: How should doctors prescribe exercise to ensure compliance and engagement?
#9. As the study authors note, “The expansion of women into the labor force in the mid-20th century may have provided a new avenue of cognitive reserve for women via enhanced social stimulation and cognitive engagement.” Study: Work in adulthood seen to significantly delay memory decline after age 60, supporting the Cognitive Reserve theory
#10. “Throughout many subreddits, we found significant increases in the use of tokens related to isolation (eg, “lonely,” “can’t see anyone,” “quarantine”), economic stress (eg, “rent,” “debt,” “pay the bills”), and home (“fridge,” “pet,” “lease”), and a decrease in the lexicon related to motion (eg, “walk,” “visit,” “travel”).” Hopefully the promising vaccine news helps turn the tide; until then we need to promote mental health & resilience hard. Using Reddit as a population-level “mental health tracker” during the COVID pandemic
#11. “BCI devices can be non-invasive devices that users wear, or they can be invasive devices, which are surgically implanted,” says Veljko Dubljevi … “The invasive devices are more efficient, since they can read signals directly from the brain. However, they also raise more ethical concerns. For example, invasive BCI technologies carry more associated risks such as surgery, infection, and glial scarring — and invasive BCI devices would be more difficult to replace as technology improves.” Studies identify key ethical concerns raised by invasive and non-invasive neurotechnologies
#12. “(the app) uses the Watch’s sensors to track the heart rate and movement of users as they sleep. After establishing a baseline profile for the patient within one or two nights’ sleep, the machine learning algorithm spots heart rate or movement abnormalities presumably caused by a nightmare. The application then vibrates the smartwatch just enough to interrupt the wearer’s dreaming, but not enough to wake them up or disrupt their circadian sleep cycle.” FDA grants clearance for NightWare app designed to reduce PTSD-related nightmares
Wishing you a safe and healthy December,
Alvaro Fernandez and the SharpBrains Team
The FDA granted Minneapolis-based NightWare a De Novo clearance on Friday for its Apple Watch and iPhone app designed to improve the sleep quality of those experiencing nightmare disorder and nightmares related to PTSD. [Read more…] about FDA grants clearance for NightWare app designed to reduce PTSD-related nightmares
ADHD drugs do not improve cognition in healthy college students (ScienceDaily):
“Contrary to popular belief across college campuses, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications may fail to improve cognition in healthy students and actually can impair functioning, according to a study by researchers at the University of Rhode Island and Brown University. [Read more…] about Think twice before taking Aderall for cognitive enhancement: It may actually impair working memory and other cognitive abilities