Post-traumatic stress disorder is a crippling, hard-to-treat psychiatric affliction. America spends billions of dollars yearly just on the veterans who suffer from PTSD. So it’s heartening to see the report of a promising new treatment, published Monday in Nature Medicine. [Read more…] about Study finds MDMA-assisted therapy to be safe and highly effective to treat severe PTSD
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, starting with some ideas to get in the mood for Brain Awareness Week next month (March 15–21st). May BAW 2021 be a hundred times more upbeat than last year’s…
#2. Imagine what this capability may mean just a few years from now. Should/ will Google alert Gmail users about their (future) cognitive status? Study: Artificial intelligence program identifies linguistic markers that predict, with 70% accuracy, who gets Alzheimer’s Disease years later
#3. Similar to what happened to Thync back in 2016, Halo Neuroscience struggled to commercialize tDCS as a non-medical device and the technology is being repurposed for clinical use. Neuromodulation developer Halo Neuroscience closes its doors; Flow Neuroscience acquires assets
#4. Here you have a couple recent meta-analyses suggesting a growing adoption in the near future of web-based, and increasingly personalized, interventions. Growing research points to expanding adoption of online cognitive behavioral therapies, both guided and unguided
#5. “If there is anything we’ve seen out of this year, it’s really become that fourth pillar of benefits for every employer out there. Everyone has medical, dental and vision. Mental health has now really become that fourth pillar of benefits for all employers.” — Alyson Watson, CEO and founder of Modern Health. Four trends accelerating mental health innovation in the COVID/ post-COVID era
#6. “Access to mental healthcare is a human right that shouldn’t be buried by stigma, lack of access, or affordability.” — Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health. Digital mental health start-up Koa Health raises €30M to accelerate growth in Europe and the US
#7. “Just as the viral pandemic has accelerated vaccine development, this global crisis has brought together mental health experts from the public and private sector around the world to address what is surely a second pandemic triggered by loss, anxiety, and social isolation” — Thomas Insel, MD, co-founder of Humanest Care. Survey finds concerns AND hope to address growing mental health needs due to the covid pandemic
#9. “The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) has reviewed almost 600 mental health apps … only 29.6% meet quality thresholds” The landscape of digital mental health apps: huge unmet needs, quality concerns, app stores asked to ensure transparency
#10. Finally, an idea out there worth exploring … Next: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy?
Have a healthy and stimulating month of March,
The SharpBrains Team
… 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?
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating findings, books and resources for lifelong brain health.
#1. “The human brain (section; left image above) functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe (section simulation; right image) can count upon a cosmic web of at least 100 billion galaxies. Within both systems, only 30% of their masses are composed of galaxies and neurons. Within both systems, galaxies and neurons arrange themselves in long filaments or nodes between the filaments. Finally, within both systems, 70% of the distribution of mass or energy is composed of components playing an apparently passive role: water in the brain and dark energy in the observable Universe.” Understanding Brain Health via Cosmological Health, and vice versa
#2. One very smart and generous brain to brighten your day: Indian teacher Ranjitsinh Disale wins annual $1M Global Teacher Prize; shares half with 9 finalists
#3. “Of all the qualities parents can cultivate in their children, hope and optimism are the most precious. We can nurture hope and optimism in our kids by demonstrating that we always have some control over our environment and ourselves. The future isn’t a tide that’s going to crush us, it’s a wave we’re a part of.” — Madeline Levine, author of Ready or Not. Three favorite 2020 books on parenting and mental health
#5. This survey of 2500 families about what ADHD treatments seem to work/ not work finds that 49% of parents report Exercise to be ‘Extremely or Very Effective;’ above any other treatment.
#6. On the dangers of “productizing” lifestyle guidelines that help build brain reserve and delay cognitive problems; Buyer beware: The story of a pricey and “credentialled” program to end Alzheimer’s Disease
#7. Now, given that “In a new McKinsey report, 62% of employees consider mental health issues a top challenge,” it is good to see growing resources and approaches aimed at addressing the challenge: Calm raises $75 million, expands into corporate mental health and wellness
#8. And, step by step, digital therapeutics are going mainstream: Click Therapeutics raises $30 million in debt to advance commercialization of smoking cessation app Clickotine
#9. Never two without three: Pear Therapeutics raises $80M; finds cost savings of $2,150 per patient with opioid use disorder
#10. Finally, we asked our team and trusted advisors to compile a list of ideas to stay sane and healthy in the months ahead, prioritizing habits shown to promote brain health, resilience and positive neuroplasticity: Enjoy these 3 New Year Resolutions and 36 Ideas for a Happier & Healthier 2021
Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy New Year
If you’re interested in the life of the mind, here you have an awesome window into a unique mind — a profound memoir by bestselling writer and psychotherapy pioneer Irvin D. Yalom. It was published back in 2017 but, like good wine, it has aged well and is more relevant today than ever.
Irvin D. Yalom, MD, is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco. He is the author of many books, including Love’s Executioner, The Theory and Practice in Group Psychotherapy, and When Nietzsche Wept. He lives with his wife in Palo Alto, California.
Description: Irvin D. Yalom has made a career of investigating the lives of others. In this profound memoir, he turns his writing and his therapeutic eye on himself. He opens his story with a nightmare: He is twelve, and is riding his bike past the home of an acne-scarred girl. Like every morning, he calls out, hoping to befriend her, “Hello Measles!” But in his dream, the girl’s father makes Yalom understand that his daily greeting had hurt her. For Yalom, this was the birth of empathy; he would not forget the lesson. [Read more…] about On becoming a psychotherapy pioneer and bestselling writer: A fantastic memoir by, and window into, the unique mind of Irvin D. Yalom
Neurolief announced today that it received FDA breakthrough device designation for its Relivion DP system for treating major depression.
Relivion is a wearable, non-invasive, multi-channel brain neuromodulation device designed as an adjunctive treatment to pharmaceutical management of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults who haven’t experienced satisfactory improvement from antidepressant medications, according to a news release. [Read more…] about Neuromodulation device Relivion gets FDA clearance to help patients with major depression who don’t benefit from antidepressant medications