Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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What’s normal? When it comes to the brain, it’s hard to say, and that’s why we need to study global neurodiversity

In a small vil­lage in India—a place so remote it has no elec­tric­i­ty, no telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem, and no cars or buses—a research work­er pre­pares to place an EEG head­set on a female villager’s head. The woman, who earns $3.75 a day labor­ing in a near­by rice pad­dy and who has nev­er ven­tured out­side her vil­lage, eyes the futur­is­tic device with trep­i­da­tion.

Is it going to hurt my head?” she asks.

Sathish, the research work­er, has heard this ques­tion before. In fact, he’s heard sev­er­al sim­i­lar queries from anx­ious vil­lagers who have got­ten scared when they saw the brain­wear.

Will it give me a headache?”

Is it going to give me an elec­tric shock?”

He assures the woman the head­set is pain­less and explains that all she has to do is sit qui­et­ly and allow her mind to wan­der. Sathish gen­tly adjusts an array of elec­trodes on the woman’s head and Read the rest of this entry »

Do ADHD drugs really help college students without ADHD?

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Over the past 15 years there has been grow­ing aware­ness that many col­lege stu­dents with­out an ADHD diag­no­sis use ADHD drugs. On some cam­pus­es, rates of self-report­ed non-med­ical use have exceed­ed 30% of stu­dents. Read the rest of this entry »

10-year study finds that the higher the blood sugar level, the faster the cognitive decline over time — regardless of diabetic status

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The Star­tling Link Between Sug­ar and Alzheimer’s (The Atlantic):

A lon­gi­tu­di­nal study, pub­lished Thurs­day in the jour­nal Dia­betolo­gia, fol­lowed 5,189 peo­ple over 10 years and found that peo­ple with high blood sug­ar had a faster rate of cog­ni­tive decline than those with nor­mal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sug­ar lev­el tech­ni­cal­ly made them dia­bet­ic. In oth­er words, the high­er the blood sug­ar, the faster the cog­ni­tive decline. Read the rest of this entry »

Q: What do people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety have in common? A: A brain with similar gray-matter loss

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Dif­fer­ent men­tal dis­or­ders cause same brain-mat­ter loss, study finds (press release):

A meta-analy­sis of 193 brain-imag­ing stud­ies shows sim­i­lar gray-mat­ter loss in the brains of peo­ple with diag­noses as dif­fer­ent as schiz­o­phre­nia, depres­sion and addiction…The find­ings call into ques­tion a long­stand­ing ten­den­cy to dis­tin­guish psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders chiefly by their symp­toms rather than their under­ly­ing brain pathol­o­gy. Read the rest of this entry »

Research: Veterans learn to use yoga and meditation exercises to reconnect with their emotions

Vet­er­ans learn to use yoga and med­i­ta­tion exer­cis­es to recon­nect with their emo­tions (Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal):

Rich Low of Madi­son served as an infantry offi­cer in the Army in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, lead­ing some 280 com­bat mis­sions. When he came back from the ser­vice, he did­n’t think his expe­ri­ence affect­ed him in any major way. He had night­mares, and he star­tled eas­i­ly, but he chalked that up to just some­thing vet­er­ans live with. Read the rest of this entry »

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