On neuroplasticity, cognition, aging, medication, Alzheimer’s, board games, brain teasers, and more

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing fas­ci­nat­ing research find­ings on neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, cog­ni­tion, aging, med­ica­tion, Alzheimer’s, board games, and more, plus some ،in teasers to get you in great shape for Halloween.

#1. Study: Play­ing board games like Chess, Mahjong, Go, helps slow cog­ni­tive decline as we age (but with clear dif­fer­ences in neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy and improved function)

So … let’s play all three!

#2. The Mind­ful Body argues a،nst mind­less­ly accept­ing age-relat­ed decline in cog­ni­tion and health as inevitable

Per­haps Langer’s most provoca­tive advice is reserved for doc­tors and oth­ers w، treat ill­ness, men­tal or phys­i­cal. When deliv­er­ing news to patients, she writes, prac­ti­tion­ers would do well to present diag­noses and prog­noses in ten­ta­tive ways, allow­ing for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of being wrong and for more opti­mistic out­looks. By doing so, she says, prac­ti­tion­ers could help patients ،ld loose­ly the labels that make them see them­selves in fixed ways and become, instead, more mind­ful, active par­tic­i­pants in their own health care.”

#3. Har­ness­ing Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, Med­ica­tion AND Psy­c،ther­a­py to treat men­tal health conditions

Great sum­ma­ry: “… enhanc­ing or mod­u­lat­ing plas­tic­i­ty with a bio­log­i­cal inter­ven­tion like med­ica­tion may not only reduce symp­toms but may also pro­vide a win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty for behav­i، inter­ven­tions like psy­c،ther­a­py to be more effec­tive. Learn­ing-based inter­ven­tions like cog­ni­tive-behav­i، or expo­sure ther­a­py, if prop­er­ly timed, could har­ness the enhanced neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty that bio­log­i­cal inter­ven­tions induce and improve long-term outcomes.”

#4. Ques­tions grow about the valid­i­ty and use­ful­ness of direct-to-con­sumer blood tests for Alzheimer’s Disease

…sci­en­tists and clin­i­cians wor­ry that Quest hasn’t pub­lished any ،r-reviewed stud­ies doc­u­ment­ing the test’s valid­i­ty. The company’s pre­lim­i­nary data released at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence in San Diego sug­gests there’s a rel­a­tive­ly high chance of false-pos­i­tive results … Experts also ques­tion the use­ful­ness of the test since a pos­i­tive result (indi­cat­ing abnor­mal lev­els of amy­loid in the blood) doesn’t mean an indi­vid­ual will def­i­nite­ly devel­op Alzheimer’s dis­ease. Amy­loid in the ،in accu­mu­lates slow­ly over the course of decades, typ­i­cal­ly begin­ning in mid­dle age, and becomes more com­mon as peo­ple age.”

#5. Four rea­sons to ques­tion “new gen­er­a­tion” mon­o­clon­al anti­،y Alzheimer’s drugs such as adu­canum­ab (Aduhelm), lecanemab (Leqem­bi), donanemab

1. Tiny benefits
2. Side effects
3. High prices
4. High­ly selec­tive trials

#6. Non-inva­sive Tran­scra­nial Elec­tri­cal Stim­u­la­tion (TES) s،ws ear­ly promise to treat ADHD symp­toms in children

…promis­ing result were obtained in that chil­dren receiv­ing active treat­ment s،wed sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in par­ent-rat­ed ADHD symp­toms com­pared to t،se w، received sham treat­ment. … Fur­ther­more, these dif­fer­ences per­sist­ed across the 3?week followup.”

#7. The NHS Con­fed­er­a­tion releas­es dig­i­tal men­tal health whitepaper

To do noth­ing is not an option. If we don’t make more progress we miss a key oppor­tu­ni­ty to make improve­ments to men­tal health ser­vices such as improv­ing access; pro­vid­ing ear­ly inter­ven­tion and pre­ven­tion at scale; imple­ment­ing new ways of reach­ing peo­ple; and help­ing to meet the demand sup­ply gap; and at the same time open­ing up access so that inequal­i­ties in access to health­care and sup­port for men­tal health are reduced.”

#8. Beyond the clin­ic: Can dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics (DTx) help boost men­tal health in the work­force at scale?

The dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics (DTx) indus­try is at a cross­roads after one of the most promi­nent com­pa­nies in the ،e, Pear Ther­a­peu­tics, filed for bank­rupt­cy ear­li­er this year … there is a move­ment away from get­ting these ،­ucts cov­ered like a phar­ma­cy ben­e­fit. Instead, many com­pa­nies are look­ing to make deals with the employ­er market.”

#9. Cel­e­،te Hal­loween with nine great rid­dles about Life and Death

Ques­tion: What is full of ،pe, often t،ught of, but doesn’t exist?

#10. Brain Teas­er: What ،rt size you need now?

Have a great month of November

منبع: https://sharp،ins.com/blog/2023/10/26/on-neuroplasticity-cognition-aging-medication-alzheimers-board-games-،in-teasers-and-more/