Meet 40 Experts and Innovators shaping Brain Health & Enhancement on December 5-7th, at the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit

We are proud to announce these 40 confirmed Summit Speakers, Chairs and Judges at the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit on December 5-7th. What an incredible brain trust shaping the future of brain health and enhancement!

Here are just a few:

Dr. Adam Gazzaley, Professor of Neurology and Founding Director of Neuroscape at UCSF

Dr. Gazzaley is a faculty member in the Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry departments, and Director of a cognitive neuroscience laboratory conducting research on the neural mechanisms of attention and memory. Dr. Gazzaley is also co-founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs, a company developing therapeutic video games, and co-founder and Chief Scientist of JAZZ Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in experiential technology to improve human performance.

Dr. Adam Haim, Chief of the Clinical Trials Operations and
Biostatistics Branch at the NIMH

Dr. Haim oversees the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Both programs help small businesses fund R&D with strong potential for technology commercialization, and a significant portion of their current grant portfolio is focused on the development and evaluation of mHealth interventions and digital health technology.

Alexandra Morehouse

Alexandra Morehouse, CMO of Banner Health

Alexandra M. Morehouse is Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Banner Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems. Prior to Banner Health, she was the Vice President of Brand Management at Kaiser Permanente, and CMO of AAA. She has served on the boards of the Harvard Business School Community Partners, SnapFish, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Dance, and UC Davis.

Dr. Alison Fenney, Executive Director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO)

Dr. Fenney runs the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, a global trade association representing companies involved in neuroscience, brain research institutes and patient advocacy groups. Prior to NIO, Alison was Manager of Industry Relations at the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) in Canada, and also worked in Equity Research at Bloom Burton & Co.

Álvaro Fernández, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of SharpBrains

Álvaro Fernández, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Human Enhancement, runs SharpBrains, an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science. Mr. Fernandez is the co-author of “The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age”, and the Editor-in-chief of SharpBrains’ market report on Pervasive Neurotechnology.

 

For more, here you can Meet 40 Experts and Innovators at the frontier of Brain Health & Enhancement.

 

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Last 24 Hours to Register at Early-bird Discounted Rates @ 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (December 5-7th)

Dear colleague,

There are just 24 hours left to register for the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit at early-bird discounted rates — fyi, we just crossed 100 registrants, in 11 countries!

You can learn more and register HERE. Early-bird rates expire tomorrow Friday, October 6th, at noon US Pacific Time.

Also, a few great additions to the already world-class Speaking Roster:

  • Dr. Adam Gazzaley, Professor of Neurology and Founding Director of Neuroscape at UCSF (confirmed)
  • Dr. Alison Fenney, Executive Director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) (confirmed)
  • Belén Guerra-CarrilloNSF Fellow and graduate student researcher at University of Califonia, Berkeley (confirmed)
  • Dr. Carlos Peña, Director of the Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices Division at the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) (in process)
  • Kate Sullivan,  Director of the Brain Fitness Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (in process)
  • Nancy Briefs, President and CEO of Digital Cognition Technologies (confirmed)
  • Nikhil Sriraman, IP Analyst at SharpBrains (confirmed)
  • Dr. Olivier Oullier, Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at Aix-Marseille University (confirmed)
  • Pooja Wagh, Director of the Health Community at MIT Solve (confirmed)

 

They will join an incredible ecosystem for innovation encompassing industry, tech, research, policy and practice.

Summit Sponsors include: AARP, VieLight, The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), the Arrowsmith Program, Banner Health, EMOTIV, and Lumosity.

Summit Partners include: Aging 2.0, BrainFutures, the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO), MIT Solve, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), Neuroscape, NeuroTechX, the Center for BrainHealth at UT-Dallas, and the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

— Judging Panel for the Brainnovations Pitch Contest

And please remember that the Summit will host a Brainnovations Pitch Contest — the Call for Submissions is open until October 31st, 11 PM US Pacific Standard Time.

“We are honored to count on such a distinguished ‘Sharp Tank’ to discuss and select the most promising startups in the digital health and neurotech space,” says Alvaro Fernandez, SharpBrains‘ CEO & Editor-in-Chief, who will co-facilitate the contest with Dr. Bob Bilder, Director of the UCLA Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity.

Looking forward to a great event — please consider joining us!

The SharpBrains Team

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Announcement: The Brainnovations Pitch Contest is Accepting Submissions!

The Brainnovations Pitch Contest just started accepting submissions from startups worldwide working on ways to harness brain research and emerging technologies to help every human being thrive in the digital age.

Startups: Please submit your idea and pitch your solution in front of our expert Judges and 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit participants for a chance to get feedback, boost industry recognition, meet like-minded pioneers and win a prize package that could give a boost to your venture and solution.

Who Should Apply

The competition is open to every startup in the space that meets the following criteria:

  • Has been operating for five years or less
  • Has a running website
  • Can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit, but needs to show a clear revenue model
  • If it is selected as a Finalist, one of the Co-founders can present a Pitch at the Summit, on December 6th, 2017 (requires no travel, as event is virtual)

GUIDELINES, FAQS AND SUBMISSION FORM HERE

We look forward to a fantastic Pitch Contest and Summit overall!

This is the Brainnovations Judging Panel…our very own “Sharp Tank”!

 

12 Finalists will get to pitch on December 6th, and the Sharp Tank will select a Winner per category, facilitated by Alvaro Fernandez, SharpBrains‘ CEO & Editor-in-Chief, and Dr. Bob Bilder, Director of the UCLA Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity.

Top Brainnovations in Healthcare will be judged by:

  • Dr. Adam Haim, PhD, Chief of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Dr. David Barash, Chief Medical Officer and ED of Global Health at GE Foundation
  • Dr. Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director at Merck Ventures
  • Dr. Karen Postal, President of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN)

Top Brainnovations in the Workplace will be judged by:

  • Charlie Hartwell, Operating Partner at Bridge Builders Collaborative
  • Danny Dankner, CEO and Co-founder of Applied Cognitive Engineering
  • Lisa Neuberger, Managing Director of Strategy + Innovation at Accenture Corporate Citizenship
  • Kathleen Herath, Associate Vice President Health & Productivity at Nationwide Insurance

Top Brainnovations in Education will be judged by:

  • Bill Tucker, Senior Advisor to the K12 Education Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Eduardo Briceño, CEO and Co-founder of Mindset Works
  • Neil Allison, Director of Business Model Innovation at Pearson North America
  • John Cammack, Angel Investor

Top Brainnovations for Quality of Life will be judged by:

  • Alexandra Morehouse, Chief Marketing Officer at Banner Health
  • Ariel Garten, Founder and Chief Evangelism Officer at InteraXon
  • Dr. Bill Reichman, President and CEO of Baycrest
  • Colin Milner, Founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
  • Zack Lynch, General Partner at JAZZ Venture Partners

This Call for Submissions is open from September 21st till October 31st, 11 PM US Pacific Standard Time. Time to rev up those sharp brains!

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5 Must-Read Articles, and an Online Course, to Help Children with ADHD

Given the ongoing changes and controversies surrounding ADHD diagnosis and treatment, let me highlight 5 key articles written by Duke University’s Dr. David Rabiner to summarize recent scientific findings and their implications, plus a very relevant online course to help parents and professionals help children with ADHD.

1. Study finds large gaps between research and practice in ADHD diagnosis and treatment

  • Key insight: Evidence-based guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the evaluation and treatment of ADHD are frequently not followed. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD in the absence of clearly meeting DSM diagnostic criteria, and behavioral treatment is rarely recommended.
  • Key data point: Pediatricians prescribed ADHD medication to roughly 93% of youth diagnosed with ADHD. Documentation that behavioral treatment was recommended, however, was present in only 13% of the charts.

2. Study shows why children with ADHD should be reevaluated each year: Attention problems perceived by teachers are far less stable than we imagine

  • Key insight: Clinically-elevated attention problems as perceived by teachers are less stable than imagined, highlighting the importance of carefully reevaluating children each year so that children do not continue to carry a diagnosis that may no longer apply and to be treated for problems at school that are no longer evident.
  • Key data point: Data from 3 diverse samples indicates that more than 50% of elementary school children rated by their teacher as having clinically significant inattentive symptoms one year do not show similar problems the following year.

3. Don’t overlook sleep difficulties in children with ADHD; they may impair functioning as much as ADHD itself

  • Key insight: Although the link between ADHD and sleep difficulties is well-documented, evaluating sleep difficulties during an ADHD assessment may be routinely overlooked. In some cases, sleep problems may create significant difficulties for their daily functioning beyond what ADHD symptoms explain, so treating the child’s sleep difficulties should be an important treatment target.
  • Key data point: The most prevalent sleep problem – reported for 42% of the sample – was excessive daytime sleepiness, and it contributed to significantly lower life skills even after controlling for ADHD symptoms. The second most prevalent sleep problem was insomnia (for 30% of the sample), and it predicted greater social impairment–above and beyond impairment explained by ADHD symptoms.

4. Reducing the Need for High Medication Doses with Behavior Therapy

  • Key insight: The really interesting findings from this study concern the combination of medication and behavioral treatment. On virtually all ADHD measures, adding high intensity behavior management to the lowest medication dose of medication yielded comparable improvements to those produced by the high dose medication alone. For a number of measures, even low intensity behavior management combined with the lowest medication dose was as effective as high dose medication.
  • Key data point: Results suggested that a typical child with ADHD could be treated with the equivalent of 5 mg of methylphenidate 2X/day if he/she concurrently received moderate to high intensity behavior therapy. Without behavior therapy, the same child would require a 20 mg dose 2X/day to attain comparable benefits. Thus, the daily reduction in methylphenidate would be 30 mg/day.

5. Mindfulness training for children with ADHD and their parents

  • Key insight: Mindfulness training for children and parents can be a helpful intervention for ADHD. Parents can observe reductions in their child’s ADHD symptoms following training. In addition, they can observe declines in their own ADHD symptoms and parenting stress.
  • Key data point: From pre- to post test, children who received mindfulness training were rated by their parents as showing significant declines in inattentive and hyperactive impulsive symptoms; the magnitude of the decline was large for attention problems and moderate for hyperactivity. These declines remained evident and of similar magnitude at the 8-week follow-up.

We hope you enjoy those 5 must-read articles summarizing recent scientific findings and their implications.

To learn more, parents and allied professionals may also want to access the 6-hour, self-paced, online course How to Navigate Conventional and Complementary ADHD Treatments for Healthy Brain Development, featuring Dr. David Rabiner (and myself).

>> Learn More & Register Here (10%-off discount code: sharp2017)

Course description: In order to successfully promote children’s healthy brain development, every parent whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD should learn how to systematically navigate and monitor the range of potential ADHD treatments based on the latest scientific evidence. This course aims at providing the necessary information, frameworks and toolkits to make well-informed decisions, in conjunction with professional advice, about medication, behavioral therapy, exercise, neurofeedback, working memory training, meditation, diet and supplements.

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In honor of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, let’s discuss 10 Key Facts To Harness Brain Plasticity And Prolong Brain Health

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, so let me share 10 Key Facts to harness brain plasticity & prolong brain health that come from the hundreds of scientific and medical studies we analyzed to prepare the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Improve Brain Health and Performance at Any Age:

  • 1. Genes do not determine the fate of our brains (not even the infamous APOE4). Thanks to lifelong neuroplasticity, our lifestyles are as important as our genes-if not even more important- in determining how our brains grow and our minds evolve.
  • 2. There is more than one “It” in “Use It or Lose It” — our performance depends on a variety of brain functions and cognitive skills, not just one (be it “attention” or “memory” or any other).
  • 3. Physical exercise and increased fitness promote brain functioning through a variety of mechanisms, such as increased brain volume, blood supply and growth hormone levels. In particular, cardiovascular exercise seems to bring the greatest brain benefits.
  • 4. Mental stimulation strengthens the connections between neurons (synapses), improving neuron survival and cognitive functioning and building your cognitive reserve–which helps your brain better cope with normal aging and Alzheimer’s pathology in the long-term.
  • 5. The only leisure activity that has been associated with reduced cognitive function is watching television. What could explain that? Well, routine, passive activities do not challenge the brain. Keeping up the challenge requires going to the next level of difficulty, trying something new, generating new thoughts and strategies and lessons learned.
  • 6. The Mediterranean Diet, supplemented with olive oil and nuts, is associated with decreased risk of cognitive decline.
  • 7. Moderate doses of caffeine increase alertness but there is no clear sustained lifetime health benefit (or harm).
  • 8. Taking “brain supplements”  does not seem to boost cognitive function or reduce risks of cognitive decline or dementia, unless directed to address an identified deficiency.
  • 9. Chronic stress reduces and can even inhibit neurogenesis. Memory and general mental flexibility are impaired by chronic stress…so it’s good to see the growing evidence that meditation and biofeedback can successfully teach users to self-regulate physiological stress.
  • 10. No size fits all…so, to improve and prolong brain function, it’s critical to understand and address individual needs and starting point.

What counts in terms of neuroplasticity and brain health is not reading this article–or any other–but practicing healthy behaviors every day. Please revisit the fact above that really grabbed your attention–ideally one that you may have overlooked and therefore may bring most “bang for the buck” now–and make a decision to try something new this summer.

To learn more:

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May e-newsletter: MIT Solve launches Brain Health Challenge, asking “How can every person improve their brain health and mental resilience?”

New thinking

New research

New tools

 

 

Have a great month of June and, for those based in the US, a great Memorial Day weekend,

 

The SharpBrains Team

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Update: Why Untrained Brains Are A Bit Like Puppies (And How Dance Offers Great Brain Training)

Time for SharpBrains’ April e-newsletter, featuring what’s new in brain health and cognitive performance. Quite stimulating reading 🙂

New thinking

New research

>New tools

Upcoming event

 

Finally, here you have 5 quick brain teasers to sharpen two key cognitive skills: attention and working memory.

 

Have a great month of May,

 

The SharpBrains Team

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