Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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How to detect brain health problems early: Examples in Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, anxiety and PTSD

Hop­ing you enjoy this slid­edeck sup­port­ing a great dis­cus­sion held dur­ing the 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: The Future of Brain Health (March 7–9th).  Full record­ings are avail­able for pur­chase here.

9–10.30am. How to detect prob­lems ear­ly: Exam­ples in Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, Parkinson’s, anx­i­ety and PTSD

  • Dr. Sri­jan Sen, Pro­fes­sor of Depres­sion and Neu­ro­sciences at Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan
  • Jan Samzelius, Co-Founder and Chief Sci­en­tist of Neu­raMetrix
  • Dr. Tony Chang, Asso­ciate at Mer­ck Ven­tures
  • Chaired byDr. Dean­na Bel­sky, Asso­ciate at Dol­by Fam­i­ly Ven­tures

Study: Psychedelics can promote neural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex and expand pathways for mental health

– Cred­it: Cell Reports 2018 23, 3170–3182DOI: (10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.022). Copy­right © 2018 The Authors

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Psy­che­delics in Neu­rol­o­gy: Poten­tial for Improv­ing Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty (Neu­rol­o­gy­Times):

Back in the 1950s, research was prov­ing that psy­che­del­ic agents could be effec­tive in the treat­ment of var­i­ous neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, just as sci­ence was explor­ing their ben­e­fi­cial effects, the coun­ter­cul­ture was explor­ing and embrac­ing their effects. Slow­ly but sure­ly, psy­che­delics were asso­ci­at­ed with rebel­lious youth and the tumul­tuous anti-war move­ment. As a result, the gov­ern­ment shut down most of the research.

The 1990s saw renewed inter­est in psy­che­del­ic com­pounds as a means to address neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Research explored the ben­e­fits of MDMA and ket­a­mine to treat mood dis­or­ders and post­trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der. Now, a new study sheds even more light on the promise these agents might pro­vide. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Trigger warnings don’t work, may undermine emotional resilience

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It’s Official—Trigger Warn­ings Might Actu­al­ly Be Harm­ful (Medi­um):

In the era of col­lege stu­dent sen­si­tiv­i­ties to a seem­ing­ly ever-increas­ing list of pos­si­ble offend­ing mate­r­i­al, the use of so-called “trig­ger warn­ings” has become com­mon­place on uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus­es. These warn­ings are usu­al­ly giv­en at the begin­ning of a class (or at the begin­ning of spe­cif­ic sec­tions of a class) to pre­pare stu­dents…”

After con­trol­ling for var­i­ous fac­tors, such as sex, race, age, psy­chi­atric his­to­ry, and polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion, the researchers found that those par­tic­i­pants who received trig­ger warn­ings were sig­nif­i­cant­ly more like­ly (com­pared to those in the con­trol con­di­tion) to sug­gest that they and oth­ers would be more vul­ner­a­ble to emo­tion­al dis­tress after expe­ri­enc­ing trau­ma. Read the rest of this entry »

Neuropsychologist Amy Serin, Co-Founder of Brainnovations Winner The Touchpoint Solution, would like to see everyone avoid the detrimental effects of an overactive stress response

Dr. Serin, what sur­prised you the most from the Judges’ ques­tions and feed­back dur­ing the Brain­no­va­tions Pitch Con­test?

It was great that at least one of the judges had already pur­chased and start­ed using our prod­uct so we could delve into the nuances of our tech­nol­o­gy quick­ly. And I was thrilled that all judges saw the pos­si­bil­i­ties to cre­ate sig­nif­i­cant glob­al impact.

In a nut­shell, what is the core idea behind Touch­Points?

Too many peo­ple suf­fer too much stress, often lead­ing to sleep­less­ness, crav­ings, anger, poor focus, poor per­for­mance, and feel­ing over­whelmed. Touch­Points aim at reduc­ing stress by deliv­er­ing hap­tic microvi­bra­tions via wear­able devices worn on both sides of the body. The Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Common medication treatments for PTSD can increase the risk of developing dementia

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Drugs for PTSD linked to increased risk of demen­tia (The Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Jour­nal):

Cer­tain psy­chotrop­ic drugs used to treat post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) increase the risk of devel­op­ing demen­tia, includ­ing in patients who do not have PTSD but take the drugs for oth­er con­di­tions, study results pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Geri­atrics Soci­ety Read the rest of this entry »

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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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