Home Featured Post On mental fitness beliefs, lifestyles and new tools like apps, digital therapeutics, virtual reality, “brain age gaps” and more

On mental fitness beliefs, lifestyles and new tools like apps, digital therapeutics, virtual reality, “brain age gaps” and more

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Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing time­ly brain & men­tal health news and a fun cou­ple of math brain teasers.

#1. Study on the “ABCs of Men­tal Health” finds that sim­ply believ­ing you can improve men­tal well­be­ing helps actu­al­ly improve it

Beliefs mat­ter.

#2. “Dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics” vs. “Men­tal health apps”: A grow­ing debate on stan­dards, reg­u­la­tion and efficacy

Def­i­n­i­tions matter.

#3. How ’sleep­ing on it’ can help the pre­frontal cor­tex reg­u­late emo­tion­al respons­es, mak­ing us feel bet­ter in the morning

Sleep mat­ters.

#4. NICE in the UK issues rec­om­men­da­tion for Sleepio app, the dig­i­tal cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py for insom­nia by Big Health

Inno­va­tion mat­ters: “At a price of £45 per per­son, Sleepio is cost sav­ing com­pared with usu­al treat­ment in pri­ma­ry care. This is based on an analy­sis of pri­ma­ry care resource use data before and after Sleepio was intro­duced in 9 GP prac­tices. Health­care costs were low­er at 1 year, most­ly because of few­er GP appoint­ments and sleep­ing pills prescribed.”

#5. New book pro­vides prac­ti­cal guid­ance for women (and men) to rebal­ance our lifestyles and build Cog­ni­tive Reserve

Lifestyle mat­ters: “The more com­plex our lives are, the more we need sim­ple things that can ground us and help us to be more resilient – to rebal­ance and rebal­ance and rebal­ance again. Build­ing the men­tal mus­cles to find bal­ance when one gets off bal­ance is a crit­i­cal skill thrive and to build cog­ni­tive reserve in our fast-chang­ing times. As our month­ly gath­er­ings showed us over the years, prac­tic­ing rebal­ance in good com­pa­ny not only rein­forces neur­al path­ways and capa­bil­i­ties but also strength­ens the bonds of trust and con­fi­dence that are invalu­able to build a healthy envi­ron­ment to thrive in.”

#6. Study: Auto­mat­ed VR psy­chother­a­py can help reduce anx­i­ety and dis­tress, espe­cial­ly among those with psy­chosis and severe agoraphobia

One of the ben­e­fits of VR is that patients know they are in a sim­u­la­tion, which enables “psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tance from prob­lem­at­ic reac­tions,” the study authors wrote. “The process of find­ing the best uses and imple­men­ta­tion meth­ods of this immer­sive tech­nol­o­gy at scale in men­tal health is only beginning.”

#7. Fund­ing for dig­i­tal health start-ups, espe­cial­ly in men­tal health, fall sub­stan­tial­ly in Q1’22

While all tech sec­tors received small­er fund­ing totals than the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, dig­i­tal health plunged much fur­ther than oth­ers did … investor inter­est in men­tal health tech wavered as the mar­ket and pub­lic com­pa­nies like Talk­space and Cere­bral come under scrutiny.”

#8. Deep learn­ing mod­el built on neu­roimag­ing data iden­ti­fies “Brain Age Gaps” as mark­ers of Alzheimer’s dis­ease (AD)

The main find­ing of our study is that we could indeed find evi­dence that high brain age gap is behav­ing as an accel­er­at­ed brain aging bio­mark­er.” — Dr. David Jones, neu­rol­o­gist at Mayo Clinic

Final­ly, a cou­ple fun brain teasers to help you flex your math/ cog­ni­tive men­tal muscles:

#9. Will you fin­ish your the­sis on time?

#10. Math brain teas­er requir­ing no math — just per­cep­tion and cognition


Wish­ing you and yours a healthy and stim­u­lat­ing June!


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