As with many other physicians, recommending physical activity to patients was just a doctor chore for me – until a few years ago. That was because I myself was not very active. Over the years, as I picked up boxing and became more active, I got firsthand experience of positive impacts on my mind. I also started researching the effects of dance and movement therapies on trauma and anxiety in refugee children, and I learned a lot more about the neurobiology of exercise. [Read more…] about Promote brain plasticity and keep your mind at ease by taking your daily “exercise pill”
… The Imperial study was one of a spate of clinical trials launched over the past few years using illicit psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and MDMA (3,4‑methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as molly or ecstasy) to treat mental-health disorders, generally with the close guidance of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. The idea has been around for decades — or centuries in some cultures — but the momentum has picked up drastically over the past few years as investors and scientists have begun to champion the approach again. [Read more…] about Next: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy?
“Can a smartphone detect whether a user is suicidal or depressed?
That’s the promise of an exploding number of mental health entrepreneurs, who are exploring opportunities to monitor users’ smartphone behavior to detect a variety of symptoms — all with their consent. [Read more…] about Mental Health Innovation and Dr. Tom Insel: from the NIMH to Google/ Verily Life Sciences to Startup Mindstrong
To Diagnose Mental Illness, Read the Brain (Scientific American):
Although scientists have learned a lot about the brain in the last few decades, approaches to treating mental illnesses have not kept up. As neuroscientists learn more about brain circuits, Stanford psychiatrist Amit Etkin foresees a time when diagnoses will be based on brain scans rather than symptoms [Read more…] about Is Mental Health ready to start transitioning towards measurable brain circuits, away from subjective symptoms?
An unfortunate reality is that many children with ADHD do not have access to high quality, evidence-based treatment for ADHD. This is especially true in rural communities where children are generally treated by primary care providers who may have less ADHD-specific training than child psychiatrists and where [Read more…] about Study: An innovative telehealth service to provide high quality ADHD treatment
My apologies for not writing in a few days…the Global Agenda Summit in Dubai has required all my attention — I will summarize the great experience when I land back in San Francisco tomorrow night.
The concepts of night and day do become challenging when working for a few days in a place with a 12-hour time difference with one’s home base. Sleep is indeed very important to maintain top cognitive shape…which leads me to a fascinating news announcement:
Health insurance firms offering online cognitive therapy for insomnia (Los Angeles Times)
- “helping consumers get a good night’s sleep has become a priority for most of the top-tier U.S. health insurance companies, including WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente and several Blue Cross plans. Their new programs don’t involve sleeping pills. Instead, insurers are advocating the use of cognitive behavior therapy. Traditionally, the therapy has been done largely through face-to-face sessions, but many of the programs are now available online.”
- “And use of sleeping pills has skyrocketed. A study this year [Read more…] about Online Cognitive Therapy OKed by Health Insurance