What’s new in brain health, neurotechnology and artificial intelligence

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring a life well lived, the latest news on brain health and innovation, and some brain teasers in honor of International Brain Teaser Month.

#1. Thank you, Sharon. We won’t. “Never stop wondering” — Sharon Begley, science journalist, RIP

#2. Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in ____________.
Milk the cow, but do not pull off the ___________.

Enjoy these 5 US and 7 international proverbs to test your cognitive skills.

#3. Beware the snakes as you tease your mind with this optical illusion.

#4. The blood-brain barrier is hopefully hard at work: Can COVID-19 coronavirus “invade” human brain tissue? (Quick answer: evidence so far is mixed)

#5. Yes, a bit circular…but that’s the point: To manage stress, sleep better. To sleep better, keep a good routine and manage stress.

#6. Excellent article for those interested in state-of-the-art neurotech. The Promise of Big Data Imaging for Mental Health

#7. We’d much rather see the NIH or a fitness or nutrition company sponsor such a promising study, rather than a pharma company, but this is great news anyway: The new frontier in neurocognitive monitoring and dementia screening: the Apple Watch

#8. “I am encouraged by Cognito’s innovative approach,” said Allan Levey, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Emory University and Director of the Emory Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. “This strategy translating recent advances in non-invasive modulation of brain activity with sensory stimulation with light and sound has the potential to be an urgently needed safe, non-invasive, and effective treatment for millions of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.” Neurostimulation device GammaSense by Cognito Therapeutics secures FDA Breakthrough Device Designation to explore Alzheimer’s Disease applications

#9. This can help a ton of people, given that “Currently, video EEG is the gold standard for seizure detection, but it requires a hospital stay, is often costly, and can be stigmatizing.” Study: Wearable sensors and machine learning may well (one day) help detect a broad range of epileptic seizures

#10. “While 66% accuracy may not sound high, it is an improvement on current accuracy levels of diagnosis by human clinicians, particularly general physicians who aren’t trained in psychiatry.” Machine learning study finds standardized brain scan biomarker to detect depression with 66% accuracy

#11. FDA releases first Artificial Intelligence (AI) regulatory plan to promote responsible digital health innovation. Two of the priorities are the “issuance of draft guidance on a predetermined change control plan (for software’s learning over time)” and “Developing methods to evaluate and improve machine learning algorithms.” Both are crucial given that data-driven innovation is in flux by definition, unlike drug-driven innovation.

Best regards, stay healthy,

The SharpBrains Team

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E-newsletter: Understanding Brain Health via Cosmological Health, and vice versa

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating findings, books and resources for lifelong brain health.

#1. “The human brain functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe 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

#4. A superb memoir on becoming a psychotherapy pioneer and bestselling writer: Becoming Myself, by Irvin D. Yalom

#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!

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Read, Play, Train: 3 Resolutions and 36 Gift Ideas (books/ board games/ exercise tools) for a Happier & Healthier 2021

Dear reader,

As we start to celebrate the Holidays and welcome a much needed New Year, I asked our team and trusted advisors to compile a list of gift (and self-gift) ideas to help us stay sane and healthy in the months ahead, prioritizing three habits which have been shown to promote brain health, resilience and positive neuroplasticity:

Read: Here’s a selection of 12 fascinating books to add healthy novelty, variety and challenge to our reading lives — and therefore to our brains and minds

Play: Here are 12 creative and (mostly) collaborative board games. A peaceful upgrade from the classic Monopoly and Risk … we know you know what we mean

Train: A selection of the equipment we have relied on the most to stay fit, resilient and purposeful this year

For each and every suggestion, at least one colleague has tried it and truly loved it; and we have verified they have many and very positive reviews.

Happy & Healthy Holidays; Happy & Healthy New Year!

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News, findings and resources for Brain Health and Resilience, plus a few fun Brain Teasers

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating neuroscience findings and tips, combined with fun brain teasers.

#1. To celebrate this quite-challenging Thanksgiving, here are five fun brain teasers that readers have enjoyed the most this year so far. It is always good to learn more about (and appreciate) that most precious resource we all (yes, all) have up there! Five fun brain teasers to thank evolution for our human brains and minds

#2. Want more? Ready, Set, Go! A few brain teasers to flex those cognitive muscles

#3. “[Breathing techniques] are allowing you to consciously take control of your breathing so you can take control of your nervous system so you can take control of your anxiety” — James Nestor, author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. New book shares science and techniques to breathe better and promote calmness not anxiety

#4. Voice does matter…especially in areas of potential disagreement. To call, or to text, that is the (mental well-being) question

#5. Fascinating research + innovation event brought by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and multiple partners. Save the Date: Promoting Brain Health for Life, December 15–16th, online.

#6. “This isn’t a battle between AI and doctors, it’s about how to optimize doctors’ ability to deliver better care” — P. Murali Doraiswamy, director of the Neurocognitive Disorders Program at Duke University. Next: Analyzing typing speed, speech and sleep patterns to identify cognitive decline, dementia, Parkinson’s, and more

#7. Google’s X team shares 3 valuable lessons learned from their ambitious and (for the time being) unsuccessful moonshot: Alphabet’s X shares Amber EEG system to expand the quest for mental health biomarkers

#8. “An exercise prescription is an important treatment option and a great adjunct to medications. The key is prescribing physical activity in a way that the patient will comply and remain engaged with.” Debate: How should doctors prescribe exercise to ensure compliance and engagement?

#9. As the study authors note, “The expansion of women into the labor force in the mid-20th century may have provided a new avenue of cognitive reserve for women via enhanced social stimulation and cognitive engagement.” Study: Work in adulthood seen to significantly delay memory decline after age 60, supporting the Cognitive Reserve theory

#10. “Throughout many subreddits, we found significant increases in the use of tokens related to isolation (eg, “lonely,” “can’t see anyone,” “quarantine”), economic stress (eg, “rent,” “debt,” “pay the bills”), and home (“fridge,” “pet,” “lease”), and a decrease in the lexicon related to motion (eg, “walk,” “visit,” “travel”).” Hopefully the promising vaccine news helps turn the tide; until then we need to promote mental health & resilience hard. Using Reddit as a population-level “mental health tracker” during the COVID pandemic

#11. “BCI devices can be non-invasive devices that users wear, or they can be invasive devices, which are surgically implanted,” says Veljko Dubljevi … “The invasive devices are more efficient, since they can read signals directly from the brain. However, they also raise more ethical concerns. For example, invasive BCI technologies carry more associated risks such as surgery, infection, and glial scarring — and invasive BCI devices would be more difficult to replace as technology improves.” Studies identify key ethical concerns raised by invasive and non-invasive neurotechnologies

#12. “(the app) uses the Watch’s sensors to track the heart rate and movement of users as they sleep. After establishing a baseline profile for the patient within one or two nights’ sleep, the machine learning algorithm spots heart rate or movement abnormalities presumably caused by a nightmare. The application then vibrates the smartwatch just enough to interrupt the wearer’s dreaming, but not enough to wake them up or disrupt their circadian sleep cycle.” FDA grants clearance for NightWare app designed to reduce PTSD-related nightmares

Wishing you a safe and healthy December,

Alvaro Fernandez and the SharpBrains Team

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On neurons, lifelong learning, meditation, humility, “empty brain calories” and more

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring 12 fascinating neuroscience findings and open questions–and the beautiful image above.

#1. “With this image I want to illustrate the large advances made in imaging methods over the past century, allowing modern neuroscientists to look at neurons in ways that Cajal could have only dreamed of.” – Silvia Rodriguez-Rozada, Center for Molecular Neurobiology, Hamburg. Award-winning image shows neuroimaging progress in a century

#2. One more reason why lifelong learning matters: Study: High Cognitive Reserve (CR) seen to significantly lower dementia risk even in the presence of high Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) neuropathology

#3. It’s Friday; perfect time to make some fun and healthy weekend plans: How feeling awe in nature can spur mental well-being and personal growth

#4. Not a bad idea either: On cutting “empty brain calories” by reading a book instead of social media

#5. “…humility helps people let go of defensiveness, take in information that challenges their political views, and see the humanity in people on the other side of the political spectrum. Though it’s not always easy to embrace—especially for those who wrongfully equate it with weakness or a lack of conviction—humility may be what we desperately need right now in the United States.” On perception, cognitive bias and cultivating humility ahead of next week’s vote

#6. “When it feels like the world is crashing down around them, giving young people a moment to feel, express, and receive gratitude can help—and that in itself is something to be grateful for.” Study: A combined teaching + app gratitude program helps adolescents address anxiety and improve mental health

#7. To honor ADHD Awareness Month, let’s address this most important question: What should come first to treat ADHD in children, behavior therapy or stimulant medication?

#8. Debate: Can mindfulness and meditation be harmful? Two new studies answer the question in apparently opposite but actually quite complementary ways.

#9. Study: Over-the-counter “brain enhancement” supplements in the US found both to a) contain multiple unapproved drugs and b) lack some ingredients listed on the label. Your take?

#10. “…new study funded by the National Institutes of Health that aims to recruit 30,000 volunteers to participate in a memory training study that compares multiple approaches to train working memory”: Given cognitive strengths and needs are diverse, what brain training may work best for each person and under which conditions?

#11. “Virtual reality is a promising skills-based behavioral medicine that has been shown to have high patient engagement and satisfaction,” said Beth Darnall, PhD, AppliedVR’s chief science advisor. “However, chronic pain patients to date have had very limited access to it, so we’re excited to continue working with the FDA to develop our platform and get it into the market faster.” The FDA clears AppliedVR headset to help treat fibromyalgia and chronic pain

#12. “Having run a media company in a tough market with a young, millennial workforce, we witnessed first-hand how there was a complete lack of investment in helping this generation with their mental health in a way that they’re used to: a community product that is mobile-first and video-led. We want to make the world a happier place by making working on your mental health as normal as going to the gym.” — Adnan Ebrahim, co-founder and CEO of MindLabs. What will the ‘Peloton for mental health’ look like five years from now? And, who will develop it?

Wishing you a safe and healthy November,

Alvaro Fernandez and the SharpBrains Team

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A life of cognitive and physical exercise helps you stay sharp in your 70s and beyond

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring 13 fascinating brain research findings, useful resources–and a brain teaser to test your attention skills.

#1. Good news of the month: Elders today are in significantly better shape–physically and cognitively–than three decades ago

#2. A distinction WITH a difference: Actual, sustained practice–not mere knowledge–is needed to harness neuroplasticity and improve cognition over time

#3. “Be mindful that with the rapid changes we are experiencing, our brains are going through accelerated learning. Our brains get tired just as our bodies would if we ran a marathon without training.” How COVID-related stress can disrupt your brain circuits and nine tips to prevent it

#4. Yes, Yes, and Yes. To harness our best selves, “Temper your empathy, train your compassion, and avoid the news”

#5. Things start early. Marshmallow Test with a twist: 3- and 4‑year-olds kids display more self-control when their reputation is at stake

#6. Which is why we look forward to seeing 9,000+ students, plus their many teachers and administrators, further develop their unique brains and minds in years ahead: Helping shape the future of lifelong learning via SEK Education Group

#7. “… it would certainly be premature to suggest that moving to a high altitude state would improve a child’s ADHD symptoms. However, the findings highlight the value of keeping an open mind in efforts to understand the development of ADHD and the role natural environments may play in potentially alleviating it.” Study finds surprising correlation between states’ elevation and ADHD prevalence

#9. Time to start paying serious attention to the brain/ cognitive side effects of common medications. Anticholinergic drugs found to significantly increase risk of cognitive decline, especially among those with Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers or genetic predisposition

#10. Fascinating: “After a 14-day training period … visuospatial skills improved by 40%. This increase in visuospatial ability was shown to be directly responsible for a reduction in motion sickness by 51% in the simulator … and a 58% reduction in the on-road trial.” Study: Self-driving cars will increase motion sickness…unless we retrain our brains to improve visuospatial skills

#11. Behavioral health and neuroplasticity meet big pharma to hopefully address a huge need. Click Therapeutics and Boehringer Ingelheim partner to develop and market a digital therapeutic to treat schizophrenia

#12. Neuralink: Thumbs up or down?

#13. Brain teaser: Did you notice the numerical error as it happened? If not, feel free to go back and find it now 🙂

 

Wishing you a safe and healthy October

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Fascinating: The placebo effect works even when people know they are taking a placebo

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring 14 research findings, resources and tips for brain health … and starting with this fascinating study:

#1. Wow. The placebo effect works even when people know they are taking a placebo

#2. Beating Alzheimer’s Disease will require a combined physical/ mental approach: From the ten factors found to increase AD risk in the most comprehensive evidence review to date,

#3. “The healthiest people are the ones who grow with age and experience; even in times of trouble like these.” — Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, President of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. On Stress, Yoga Meditation, and The Evolution Revolution

#4. “Acceptance that Alzheimer’s disease is a lifestyle disease, little different from other age-related diseases, that is the sum of a lifetime is the most important breakthrough of the decade.” — George Perry, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Higher body mass index (BMI) linked to lower blood supply to the brain in large neuroimaging study

#5. “Attention is a scarce resource. Think about your attentional focus as the beam of a light. If the light is on an object it cannot be on other objects at the same time with the same intensity … Although we typically have the feeling that multitasking saves us time, it is often not the case.” Simple, quick brain teaser to test the limits of multitasking

#6. If it appears to rotate, RT ? Fun optical illusion to tease your mind

#7. Every cloud has a silver lining: How and when will the telemedicine surge reach mental healthcare?

#8. Not a minute too soon: Magellan Health is testing biofeedback videogame Mightier to help children better self-regulate stress

#9. “In a time when emotions like stress, anxiety, boredom, and anger are hard to avoid, a new study suggests that a particular meditation practice can help us face them.” Study: Meditation practice, both formal and informal, helps develop equanimity over time

#10. Ever since discovering Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s life trajectory via Normain Doidge’s fantastic book The Brain That Changes Itself, we have been impressed by her creativity, stamina and courage. Coming soon: Virtual World Tour at the frontier of applied neuroplasticity, education and learning difficulties

#11. “Neural signals will be used to develop algorithms that will help researchers determine the optimal brain state under which individuals can receive information. From there, the team will determine the most effective means of enhancing the subjects’ ability to intake and process information. This could range from non-invasive neuromodulation—or brain stimulation—techniques to the use of augmented reality to alter perceived environmental conditions.” Air Force announces research platform to harness closed-loop neurotechnology and accelerate learning “on the fly”

#12. Good to hear that “ensuring the privacy and security of study participants’ data is a high priority for both UCLA and Apple. UCLA will process and maintain study data in a secure environment … UCLA and Apple will analyze the data only after they are coded and stripped of names and other contact information.” UCLA launches major mental health study collecting & analyzing data from Apple wearables to better understand depression and anxiety

#13. Flexibility is good except when it isn’t: Study finds how scientists can reach different conclusions analyzing the same brain scans

#14. “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one” — Gandhi, as quoted in Seven evidence-based reasons to start meditating yesterday

 

Wishing you a safe and healthy September,

The SharpBrains Team

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Debate: Should candidates to high office should pass a cognitive/ mental fitness test?

Wow, that was a couple of very insightful discussions, via social media no less.

#1. The first one was about whether heads of state and candidates to high office should pass a cognitive/ mental fitness test. Click HERE to read and discuss some of the sharpest comments, such as…

  • I wonder what brought this up.”
  • Definitely. We routinely screen applicants for a wide range of jobs.”
  • Then the balance of political power would shift towards the designers of those tests.”
  • That’s what debates are for.”
  • Yes, but probably nobody would pass it.”
  • No, because if we can’t judge that for ourselves, then what business do we have voting at all?”

#2. The second debate centered on the future of mental health: In ten years, will we see DSM‑6 or Something Much Better (SMB‑1)? Would you say “Something better hopefully” or “Well considering we approach mental health from a disease model.…that’s the first problem” or “DSM is a tool, and a very useful one. As any other tool it depends on the use you make of it,” or something else.

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring as always new thinking, research and tools for lifelong brain health and mental fitness.

#3. Study: Across all ideological groups, higher cognitive ability and intellectual humility predicts support for free speech

#4. Let’s understand how to increase resistance to tau and amyloid proteins so we can all become “super-agers.”  Brain scans show lower accumulation of tau and amyloid pathology among cognitive “super-agers”

#5. For example: Jobs with low physical stress and good working conditions linked to larger hippocampus and better memory

#6. Wanted: 30,000 volunteers! Large UC study to investigate when and how brain training transfers (or does not) to broader cognitive and health benefits

#7. Timely questions: “How common are neurological and psychiatric complications in patients with COVID-19? What proportion of neurological and psychiatric complications affect the (central nervous system) versus the peripheral nervous system, and are novel syndromes emerging? And who is most at risk?” Survey finds ischaemic stroke and altered mental status as most common neurological complications in severe COVID-19 cases

#8. “Our mind is one of the only things that we cannot consistently measure and quantify. And humans do remarkable things when we can measure something.”  Kernel raises $53 million to ease access to rich neural data and market Neuroscience as a Service (NaaS)

#9. “We are taking proven cognitive behavioral therapies and fully automating them to deliver the care scalably and consistently as drugs.” Startup Big Health raises $39M to universalize access to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and poor sleep

#10. Building on Bill Gates’ original goal of ‘a computer on every desk,’ perhaps it’s time for ‘real-time mental health support on every phone.’ Microsoft announces support for three innovative mental health services harnessing artificial intelligence (AI)

#11. Resonance. Empathy. Awareness. Compassion. Hope. And our favorite… Humor. Six tips to help regulate stress levels in our organizations

#12. Finally, a fun brain teaser. What do you see, rectangles or circles?

 

Wishing you a good and safe August,

The SharpBrains Team

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eNews: Repetitive negative thinking seen to increase (or perhaps be caused by) Alzheimer’s pathology

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Time for a new edition of SharpBrains’ e-newsletter, featuring this month 13 research findings, resources and brain teasers for lifelong brain and mental health.

#1. “We found that people who exhibited higher repetitive negative thinking patterns experienced more cognitive decline over a four-year period. They also had specific declines in memory (which is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease), and had more amyloid and tau deposits in their brain … There’s increasing evidence that chronic stress is both harmful to your body – and your brain. But more research is needed to understand this link.” Repetitive negative thinking may increase (or perhaps be caused by) cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s pathology

#2. “…even simple cognitive processes like making a shopping list now require more brainpower. “Now, rather than thinking, ‘I’ll just run to the store’, you’re thinking about what you need, what stores are open and whether it’ll be safe to go there. Let’s say your brain can do four tasks at once. Now all of a sudden there are 10, and you can’t do any of them” … rebooting your working memory may also mean cutting down on your news consumption and considering a break from social media. But the most effective thing to do might simply be to convince yourself it’s OK to be struggling.” Why stress regulation and working memory are core building blocks of lifelong resilience

#3. Ten years from now, will we see DSM-6 or Something Much Better (SMB)-1? The way we approach Mental Health today is broken beyond repair. The question is, what comes next, and how fast can we get there?

#4. Now, please draw the letter J in your mind. Then, draw the letter D. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and put it in top of the J. What does this shape resemble? Enjoy these three quick brain teasers to exercise your working memory

#5. “Reading science fiction and fantasy can help readers make sense of the world. Rather than limiting readers’ capacity to deal with reality, exposure to outside-the-box creative stories may expand their ability to engage reality based on science … With increasing rates of anxiety, depression, and mental health issues for youth in the past two decades, it may be the case that young people, no different from American society generally, are suffering from reality overload.” — Esther L. Jones, Ph.D Reading science fiction can help children build critical thinking and resilience

#6. “For decades, use of biofeedback to help sufferers of anxiety, among other psychological conditions, has largely been limited to clinical settings with expensive—and somewhat tedious—medical equipment. Now, with an assist from developers of virtual-reality games, effective therapeutic biofeedback is becoming more affordable, accessible and engaging.” Virtual-reality gaming + affordable biofeedback = Anxiety therapy for all?

#7. Now comes the real challenge: getting doctors to prescribe it, insurers to pay for it, kids to use it and hopefully see significant improvements in daily life. FDA clears first videogame to be prescribed to kids with ADHD: EndeavorRx by Akili Interactive Labs

#8. Hope you enjoy this overview by Dr. Ricardo Gil-da-Costa at Neuroverse and our very own Alvaro Fernandez: Explore The State of Noninvasive Neurotechnology in 37 minutes and 1 image

#9. Here with neuroscientist Mara Dierssen, in Spanish: Cómo minimizar el impacto del Covid-19 en nuestro cerebro

#10. Ignoring problems doesn’t typically solve them — good to see serious attempts to understand, detect and address chemo brain. Growing research shows how two of the major cancer treatments, radiation and chemotherapy, can lead to long-term cognitive impairment

#11. “… COVID-19 may lead to anywhere from 27,644 to 154,037 additional U.S. deaths of despair, as mass unemployment, social isolation, depression and anxiety drive increases in suicides and drug overdoses.” Time to reimagine brain & mind care: Four immediate priorities to flatten the mental distress curve

#12. Moving beyond Either/ Or Thinking: Antidepressant vortioxetine combined with cognitive training may help delay cognitive decline

#13. Not the worst week to leave Earth, but still plenty of mental health challenges in space. Request for proposals to help astronauts combat behavioral health challenges such as stress and isolation

 

Have a good and safe summer,

The SharpBrains Team

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What’s New in Brain Health and Mental Well-being, plus a few fun Brain Teasers

Time for a new edition of SharpBrains’ e-newsletter.

#1. First of all, it’s not all bad news this month. Study finds that moderate lifetime drinking may lead to lower Alzheimer-related beta amyloid deposits in the brain

#2. And, talk about personalized medicine! This fascinating study showing how brain imaging (fMRI) + machine learning + intensive, non-invasive neurostimulation = targeted treatments that can maximize efficacy and minimize side effects: Reinventing depression treatment via transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS)

#3. Also, not a minute too soon … Meditation apps have gone mainstream in the covid-19 era and Digital health start-ups raised a record $3.1 billion in Q1; focus will likely evolve from providers to consumers and employers

#4. Fyi, a very timely virtual event coming Tuesday April 28th, online: Explore strategies and tools to boost mental wellbeing during (and after) Covid-19

#5. Now, “While Pear has an advantage over the competition in that its products are backed by randomized clinical trials, physicians and health plans are still working out how to prescribe and pay for digital therapeutics.” The FDA clears Somryst, Pear’s digital therapeutic to treat chronic insomnia

#6. Net net, now is the time for individual and collective action to shift to a healthier “new normal” for all: 3 ways to protect your mental health during –and after– COVID-19 (in Spanish: Tres hábitos de higiene mental para vencer al COVID-19 y crear un futuro más saludable). Want more? Enjoy these Three tips for wise minds to calm coronavirus anxiety

#7. A small but important study for that hopeful near future when universities and colleges reopen their doors: Study finds mixed results of Adderall as cognitive enhancer (seems to boost emotion more than cognition)

#8. But, first things first. “The Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” reached #1 on the pop charts in 1977. Maybe it was the beat, maybe it was John Travolta’s dancing. Or maybe it’s that the Gibb brothers’ central lyric is quite literally always playing in our head. Keeping us safe —that is, “stayin’ alive ”— is the primary mission of the brain”

Enough with coronavirus outbreak. Anything else going on? Yes!

#9. The Right to Personal Identity. The Right to Free Will. The Right to Mental Privacy. The Right to Equal Access to Mental Augmentation. The Right to Protection from Algorithmic Bias. Will these five NeuroRights help harness emerging neurotechnologies for the common good?

#10. “Today, the scientific investigation of transcendent experiences is, in my view, one of the most exciting frontiers in the science of well-being.” Transcending Maslow’s famous “hierarchy of needs” through Maslow’s own research on Peak Experiences

#11. You CAN have your cake and eat it too: Here’s a brain teaser to stimulate your mental imagery, spatial rotation … and appetite

#12. Question: My first thought after congratulating myself on being so clever about something? Tease your brain with these eight fun riddles

 

Wishing you and yours a great month of May,

 

The SharpBrains Team

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