Posts Tagged Alzheimers

Update: Know Thyself, Know How Your Brain Works

What is work­ing mem­ory, and why it mat­ters? Can we multi-task as good as we seem to assume? What should we all know about how our brains work, and why?

We hope you enjoy this August eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing six dis­tin­guished con­trib­u­tors who answer those ques­tions, and more. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this free Brain Fit­ness eNewslet­ter by email.

Know Thy­self

Why work­ing mem­ory mat­ters in the knowl­edge age: As Dr. Tracy Alloway points out, one way to visu­al­ize work­ing mem­ory is as the brain’s “Post-it Notes” — we make men­tal scrib­bles of bits of infor­ma­tion we need to remem­ber and work with. With­out enough work­ing mem­ory we can­not func­tion as a soci­ety or as indi­vid­u­als. Learn more by par­tic­i­pat­ing in this study launched by Dr. Alloway’s team in con­junc­tion with the British Sci­ence Festival.

What should every­one learn about the brain?: Dr. Jo Ellen Rose­man and Mary Kop­pel from the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence (AAAS) dis­cuss recent rec­om­men­da­tions on what all stu­dents should know. Not just the basics of brain struc­ture and func­tion, but also a good under­stand­ing of men­tal health—such as the mind/body rela­tion­ship, fac­tors that shape behav­ior, ways of cop­ing with men­tal dis­tress, and the diag­no­sis and treat­ment of men­tal disorders.

News

Pool­ing data to accel­er­ate Alzheimer’s research: A good arti­cle in the New York Times presents the rea­sons behind grow­ing research of how to detect Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. A pilot study shows how com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing may help reduce falls among elderly. Amazon.com rec­om­mends The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness in a thought-provoking mix.

Beyond News

Needed: fund­ing for inno­v­a­tive research on slow­ing cog­ni­tive decline via cog­ni­tive train­ing: Sharp­Brains reader and UK researcher Nick Almond shares a note debunk­ing the so-called BBC brain train­ing exper­i­ment  and out­lin­ing the type of research he and col­leagues at Leeds Uni­ver­sity deem necessary.

Long-term effects of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD: Dr. David Rabiner reviews the 6-month follow-up of a sci­en­tific study on whether neu­ro­feed­back can help kids with atten­tion deficits, find­ing that ben­e­fits indeed remained 6 months after treat­ment had ended. Given, how­ever, that only around 50% of chil­dren showed ben­e­fits, it is impor­tant to regard this tool as part of a mul­ti­modal treat­ment program.

Brain Teaser

Test your atten­tional focus and multi-tasking: How often do you read a doc­u­ment while talk­ing on the phone with a client? Or think about your prob­lems at work while help­ing your child with his home­work? Human atten­tion is lim­ited, and we need to man­age it well, as shown in this teaser pre­pared by Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon.

Have a great Sep­tem­ber. And, should you hap­pen to be in Barcelona, Spain, on Sep­tem­ber 14th, make sure to attend Alvaro Fer­nan­dez talk there titled “How and Why Dig­i­tal Tech­nol­ogy Will Trans­form Edu­ca­tion, Train­ing and Brain Health”.

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Market Report Finds Growth, Promise and Confusion

Here you have the April edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and Brain Fitnessbrain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

We are excited to release our 2009 market report The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009. To be formally released on May 4th but available now for our clients and readers, this report aims to inform decision-makers at healthcare, insurance, research, public policy, investment and technology organizations about important developments in the brain fitness and cognitive health space.

2009 Market Report

The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009: This new 150-page report finds The State of the Brain Fitness/ Training Software Market 2009 reportsustained growth in the brain fitness software market (from $225m in 2007 to $265m in 2008) and promising seeds for future growth, combined with increased confusion given aggressive marketing claims and lack of education and standards. The report includes, for the first time, a Market & Research Momentum Matrix to categorize 21 key vendors, 10 Research Executive Briefs written by 12 leading scientists, and the complete results of our market survey with 2,000+ respondents. You can learn more, and acquire the report, Here.

News and Resources

Cognitive Health News April Round-Up: New cognitive track at the Games for Health conference, bilingual brains, poverty’s effect on the brain and working memory due to stress, diabetes, neuroenhancing drugs, Kellogg’s settlement with the FTC, neurocognitive testing in the military.

Normal Aging vs. Alzheimer’s Disease: Dr. Murali Doraiswamy shares his very insightful views on the key question, “How can we help the public at large to distinguish Alzheimer’s Disease from normal aging — so that an interest in early identification doesn’t translate into unneeded worries?”, based on his recent book The Alzheimer’s Action Plan.

Upcoming Guide

The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: It seems every week brings a new barrage of articles and studies which often contradict what you read the month before: Does Gingko Biloba improve memory? Can physical exercise help you stay sharp as you age? Which  “brain fitness program”, if any, is worth your money? Why is managing stress so important for memory and the brain?. This new book (available both in print and Kindle versions) aims to answer those questions -and more. We will send you an email announcement when the book is ready for purchase, in late May.

The Big Picture

Do Art Classes Boost Test Scores? Is there a “Mozart Effect?”: Some researchers suggest so; others are not convinced. Karin Evans, through our collaboration with Greater Good Magazine, offers a very thoughtful review of the evidence. She also challenges us by asking, “Now, is this the right question?”

Improving the world, and one’s brain, at the same time: The Goldman Environmental Prize recently recognized seven social entrepreneurs who are clearly helping improve the state of the world. Now, the “state of the world” does include their very own brains – as you may have seen in a recent study.

Brain Teasers

Brain plasticity and daily live: If you lived in London, and wanted to grow your hippocampus, which job would you choose?

Stimulate your Concentration Skills: when one really wants to memorize a fact, it is crucial to pay attention. Dr. Pascale Michelon challenges you to count a few simple letters.

Have a great May

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Brain Fitness Newsletter: Premium Research Sponsors

Here you have the mid-October edition of our twice-a-month newsletter. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email.

Have you ever wondered how we can maintain SharpBrains’ website, blog and newsletter without selling any products and with only limited advertising? The answer is, we offer market research to organizations such as healthcare providers, research centers, technology developers, venture capital firms, consulting and training companies, and more.

Our new Premium Research Sponsors program will allow pioneering organizations to collaborate with us to shape the future of the brain fitness and cognitive health field, by sponsoring and accessing the most up-to-date information on the science and best practices to assess and improve cognitive functioning across the lifespan. You can learn more about the Premium Research Sponsors program Here.

Market News

Allstate: Can we Improve Driver Safety using Computerized Cognitive Training?: Insurance company Allstate and brain fitness software developer Posit Science just announced a very intelligent initiative, and Tom Warden, Assistant Vice President and Leader of Allstate’s Research and Planning Center, explains to us why cognitive training may be the new safety feature following seat belts and airbags.

The Cognitive Health and Fitness Market On The Move: As you have probably seen, the Cognitive Health and Brain Fitness field is rapidly evolving. Here we highlight some of the main developments affecting the field over the last 6-months: public policy initiatives in Canada and the US, the growing role of computerized assessments, several venture capital rounds, major initiatives by insurance companies, and significant research findings.

The Big Picture

Executive Summary of the Brain Fitness Market: Let’s step back and ask ourselves, “Why is the field evolving in such a fast way? What is hope, what is hype, what is reality?” A spate of recent global news coverage on brain fitness and brain training reflects a growing interest in natural, non drug-based interventions to keep our brains sharp as we age. This interest is very timely, given an aging population, the increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s rates, and soaring health care costs in the US that place more emphasis than ever on prevention and lifestyle changes. This article summarizes the main market dynamics, open questions, and top trends to watch for.

Nourishing Our Brains and Minds

Teaching is the Art of Changing the Brain: Laurie Bartels promises, “I have read a number of books that translate current brain research into practice while providing practical suggestions for teachers to implement. This is the first book I have read that provides a biological, and clearly rational, overview of learning and the brain.” Go and enjoy her review of a very interesting book by James Zull, Director Emeritus of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve.

Philosophy as the Missing Link in School Curricula: Kimberly Wickham answers provides some good answers to the question, “Why would anyone want to teach philosophy to pre-adolescent children?” that will engage your critical thinking skills.

A User’s Guide to Lifelong Brain Health: Drs Simon Evans and Paul Burghardt hope (as we do) that the emerging emphasis on cognitive exercise and fitness helps complement -not substitute- other lifestyle factors important for the “physical health of the brain and all the systems it communicates with”. Think: nutrition, exercise, sleep.

Exercising Our Brains

Excellent Reader Comments: Our last newsletter generated a round of excellent  comments by readers on cognitive training, Posit Science and Alzheimer’s Australia, gerontology and the brain, and the value of videogames. Come enjoy this collective wisdom and participate as you wish.

Brainy Haikus:
river with haikus
flowing in since the summer
keeping  us afloat

The Challenges of Gerontology?: The World Economic Forum has asked me, as one of the 16 members of the Global Agenda Council on the Challenges of Gerontology, for “an 800 word summary of your most compelling actionable idea on the challenges of gerontology.” Feel free to help me out by offering your own actionable ideas, either related to the discipline of gerontology itself or on ways to best engage the growing number of brains over the age of 60 in our planet.

Enjoy!

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