September 20, 2020

Hello,

Doctors often tell patients at high risk of Alzheimer’s due to having pre-dementia conditions—such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI)—that there is really nothing that they can do other than wait and monitor. A recent study from Australia suggests that advice may be out of date. Researchers found that modest lifestyle changes (e.g., a nutrition plan, a physical exercise plan, and BrainHQ brain training) significantly reduced Alzheimer’s risk after only eight weeks. You can read a news article about the study here. This is the first to publish of several studies looking at using BrainHQ with other lifestyle changes to address cognitive decline and dementia risk.

We are strongly committed to ongoing research into the many benefits of BrainHQ. You can read more about research results on our website.

Best regards,

Jeff Zimman
Co-founder
Posit Science


New Research on “Smart Drugs”
Nootropics—also known as “smart drugs”—are gaining in popularity in the U.S. But new research raises questions about certain types of them. A team from Harvard Medical School tested 10 brands that contained drugs similar to the drug piracetam, and they found that several contained lab-created drugs that have never been approved by the FDA, some contained different ingredients than claimed, and others had different dosages than labeled. Learn more.

Insight into a Child’s Mind
Have you ever been around a child who completely lost it because of some simple change—a broken cracker or a sandwich cut “wrong,” for example? It turns out these tantrums can arise because young children generally can’t understand “conservation”—that things can be the same even if they look different. Learn about a simple test—and watch a scientist test her own 4-year-old—to see how children misunderstand this concept! Learn more.

New Method for Detecting Dementia
Scientists have a new method for detecting dementia: the Brain Age Index (BAI). It measures the difference between chronological age and “brain age” by looking at brain activity during sleep; a high brain age compared to chronological age may indicate dementia or the potential for dementia. “This is an important advance, because before now it has only been possible to measure brain age…with magnetic resonance imaging, which is much more expensive, not easy to repeat, and impossible to measure at home,” notes one of the researchers. Learn more.

Bird-Brained
Over the last several years, the incredible intelligence of some bird species has become clearer and clearer. Birds can do everything from making tools, to remembering artwork, to solving complex problems. But physiologically, the bird brain is very different from the mammalian brain, lacking a neocortex. How can birds have so many of the same cognitive skills as mammals without a neocortex? Find out.

Dreaming In Emotion
For eons, people have wondered why we dream—whether dreams were prophetic, just nonsense, or something else entirely. New research suggests that dreaming helps us process emotion. One study, for example, showed that when we dream less, we are less able to understand complex emotions in waking life. Learn more.

Book of the Month
Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain (2020)
By David Eagleman

The BrainHQ exercises are based on the scientific principle of brain plasticity—that the brain continually changes itself in response to stimuli, for better or for worse. In Livewired, neuroscientist and best-selling author David Eagleman explores and celebrates the brain’s natural plasticity, in a work that celebrated author Khaled Hosseini describes as “chockfull or mind bending ideas and dazzling insights.” How can a blind person learn to see with echolocation? How can a person learn to control a robot with their mind? These are just a tiny sampling of the fascinating questions Dr. Eagleman digs into in his latest book.  Learn more or buy on Amazon.