Posts Tagged healthcare

Towards a Healthy Living & Cognitive Health Agenda

Here you have the November edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, simply by subscribing (for free) here.

Thank you for your interest, attention and participation in our SharpBrains community. As always, we appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Summit of the Global Agenda

How can we persuade business leaders, policy-makers and researchers of the urgency to develop and promote an integrated “Healthy Living” agenda focused on maintaining lifelong physical and cognitive health, vs. the usual mindset focused on dealing with specific diseases and problems once they arise?

In The Future of the Aging Society: Burden or Human Capital?, I summarize some of the key themes discussed at the World Economic Forum event in Dubai on November 7-9th. The world is aging – and in healthier ways. But our healthcare and retirement systems are on track to go bankrupt – their premises are outdated. The current disease-based research agenda compounds the problem. Solutions? 1) Promote Healthy Lifestyles that help Maintain Physical and Cognitive Functional Abilities, 2) Redesign Environments to Foster Health, Engagement and Financial Security, 3) Develop an Integrated Healthy Living & Aging Research Agenda. Specifically, we could work with the UN and Global 2000 companies to move forward a new agenda.

Planet Earth 2.0: A New Operating System: Imagine seeing a top sheik in Dubai, wrapped in traditional Arab clothing, exclaim “Yes We Can” (a la Obama) in front of the 800 global experts, adding that “we build the future with our own hands”. Some of the attendants of the World Economic Forum’s Summit of the Global Agenda urged us to “reboot” the system. More than a “reboot”, we may have to upgrade to a new global “Yes We Can” operating system.

Brain Fitness Research

Training Attention and Emotional Self-Regulation: Dr. Michael Posner, a prominent  cognitive neuroscientist and first recipient of the Dogan Prize, grants us a fascinating interview on what attention, self-regulation, and effortful control are, and how to improve them using software, meditation, and parenting. In his words, “we have found no ceiling for abilities such as attention, including among adults. The more training (…) the higher the results.”

Neuroplasticity and the Brain That Changes Itself: Laurie Bartels reviews the excellent book by Norman Doidge, explaining that “the neuroscience behind Doidge’s book involves neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rewire itself. This means that the brain – our intelligence – is not something fixed in concrete but rather a changing, learning entity.”

Can We Pick Your Brain re: Cognitive Assessments?: In our view, a critical component in the maturity of the brain fitness market will be the availability of inexpensive, valid and reliable objective cognitive assessments,  to help measure how our brain functions change over time and identify priorities for targeted improvements. Dr. Joshua Steinerman asks if you would be up for them?

Use It (Properly) or Lose It

Memory Problems? Perhaps you are Multi-tasking: Dr. Bill Klemm tells us that “Multi-tasking violates everything we know about how memory works.” He explains that “(multi-tasking) probably does make learning less tedious, but it clearly makes learning less efficient and less effective.”

Physical and mental exercise to prevent cognitive decline: The American Medical News, a weekly newspaper for physicians published by the American Medical Association, just published an excellent article on the importance of physical and mental exercise. We are very happy to see efforts like these to train physicians and health professionals in general,  given that most of them were trained under a very different understanding of the brain than the one we have today.

Brain Fitness 2: Sight & Sound: PBS recently announced the second installment of their popular Brain Fitness Program show, to start airing soon.

MetaCarnival #1: a conversation across the blogosphere: We often insist on “Novelty, Variety and Challenge” as key ingredients for good “brain exercise”. There are many ways to mix those ingredients – you may enjoy this one, the first interdisciplinary gathering of blogs and blog carnivals covering health, science, anthropology, general advice and more.

Brain Teasers

Top 15 Brain Teasers and Games for Mental Exercise: Over the last 2 years we have published close to 100 puzzles, teasers, riddles, and every kind of mental exercise (without counting our in-depth interviews with top neuroscientists). Which ones have proven most stimulating for you. Let us know. Here is a selection of our Top 15 teasers.

Final Details

That’s all for now. Next month, we will be offering another great selection of articles: Dr. Andrew Newberg will discuss the brain value of meditation,  Dr. David Rabiner will review a recent study on how neurofeedback may assist in the diagnostic of attention deficits, and much more.

Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues if you haven’t done so already.

Happy holidays!

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Towards a Healthy Living & Cognitive Health Agenda

Here you have the November edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email.

Thank you for your interest, attention and participation in our SharpBrains community. As always, we appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Summit of the Global Agenda

How can we persuade business leaders, policy-makers and researchers of the urgency to develop and promote an integrated “Healthy Living” agenda focused on maintaining lifelong physical and cognitive health, vs. the usual mindset focused on dealing with specific diseases and problems once they arise?

In The Future of the Aging Society: Burden or Human Capital?, I summarize some of the key themes discussed at the World Economic Forum event in Dubai on November 7-9th. The world is aging – and in healthier ways. But our healthcare and retirement systems are on track to go bankrupt – their premises are outdated. The current disease-based research agenda compounds the problem. Solutions? 1) Promote Healthy Lifestyles that help Maintain Physical and Cognitive Functional Abilities, 2) Redesign Environments to Foster Health, Engagement and Financial Security, 3) Develop an Integrated Healthy Living & Aging Research Agenda. Specifically, we could work with the UN and Global 2000 companies to move forward a new agenda.

Planet Earth 2.0: A New Operating System: Imagine seeing a top sheik in Dubai, wrapped in traditional Arab clothing, exclaim “Yes We Can” (a la Obama) in front of the 800 global experts, adding that “we build the future with our own hands”. Some of the attendants of the World Economic Forum’s Summit of the Global Agenda urged us to “reboot” the system. More than a “reboot”, we may have to upgrade to a new global “Yes We Can” operating system.

Brain Fitness Research

Training Attention and Emotional Self-Regulation: Dr. Michael Posner, a prominent  cognitive neuroscientist and first recipient of the Dogan Prize, grants us a fascinating interview on what attention, self-regulation, and effortful control are, and how to improve them using software, meditation, and parenting. In his words, “we have found no ceiling for abilities such as attention, including among adults. The more training (…) the higher the results.”

Neuroplasticity and the Brain That Changes Itself: Laurie Bartels reviews the excellent book by Norman Doidge, explaining that “the neuroscience behind Doidge’s book involves neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rewire itself. This means that the brain – our intelligence – is not something fixed in concrete but rather a changing, learning entity.”

Can We Pick Your Brain re: Cognitive Assessments?: In our view, a critical component in the maturity of the brain fitness market will be the availability of inexpensive, valid and reliable objective cognitive assessments,  to help measure how our brain functions change over time and identify priorities for targeted improvements. Dr. Joshua Steinerman asks if you would be up for them?

Use It (Properly) or Lose It

Memory Problems? Perhaps you are Multi-tasking: Dr. Bill Klemm tells us that “Multi-tasking violates everything we know about how memory works.” He explains that “(multi-tasking) probably does make learning less tedious, but it clearly makes learning less efficient and less effective.”

Physical and mental exercise to prevent cognitive decline: The American Medical News, a weekly newspaper for physicians published by the American Medical Association, just published an excellent article on the importance of physical and mental exercise. We are very happy to see efforts like these to train physicians and health professionals in general,  given that most of them were trained under a very different understanding of the brain than the one we have today.

Brain Fitness 2: Sight & Sound: PBS recently announced the second installment of their popular Brain Fitness Program show, to start airing soon.

MetaCarnival #1: a conversation across the blogosphere: We often insist on “Novelty, Variety and Challenge” as key ingredients for good “brain exercise”. There are many ways to mix those ingredients – you may enjoy this one, the first interdisciplinary gathering of blogs and blog carnivals covering health, science, anthropology, general advice and more.

Brain Teasers

Top 15 Brain Teasers and Games for Mental Exercise: Over the last 2 years we have published close to 100 puzzles, teasers, riddles, and every kind of mental exercise (without counting our in-depth interviews with top neuroscientists). Which ones have proven most stimulating for you. Let us know. Here is a selection of our Top 15 teasers.

Final Details

That’s all for now. Next month, we will be offering another great selection of articles: Dr. Andrew Newberg will discuss the brain value of meditation,  Dr. David Rabiner will review a recent study on how neurofeedback may assist in the diagnostic of attention deficits, and much more.

Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues if you haven’t done so already.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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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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