On Brain Awareness Week, mental health innovation, tDCS, biofeedback, psychedelics, and more

Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, starting with some ideas to get in the mood for Brain Awareness Week next month (March 15–21st). May BAW 2021 be a hundred times more upbeat than last year’s…

#1. Seven brain teasers and a neuroplasticity podcast to celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2021

#2. Imagine what this capability may mean just a few years from now. Should/ will Google alert Gmail users about their (future) cognitive status? Study: Artificial intelligence program identifies linguistic markers that predict, with 70% accuracy, who gets Alzheimer’s Disease years later

#3. Similar to what happened to Thync back in 2016, Halo Neuroscience struggled to commercialize tDCS as a non-medical device and the technology is being repurposed for clinical use. Neuromodulation developer Halo Neuroscience closes its doors; Flow Neuroscience acquires assets

#4. Here you have a couple recent meta-analyses suggesting a growing adoption in the near future of web-based, and increasingly personalized, interventions. Growing research points to expanding adoption of online cognitive behavioral therapies, both guided and unguided

#5. “If there is anything we’ve seen out of this year, it’s really become that fourth pillar of benefits for every employer out there. Everyone has medical, dental and vision. Mental health has now really become that fourth pillar of benefits for all employers.” — Alyson Watson, CEO and founder of Modern Health. Four trends accelerating mental health innovation in the COVID/ post-COVID era

#6. “Access to mental healthcare is a human right that shouldn’t be buried by stigma, lack of access, or affordability.” — Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health. Digital mental health start-up Koa Health raises €30M to accelerate growth in Europe and the US

#7. “Just as the viral pandemic has accelerated vaccine development, this global crisis has brought together mental health experts from the public and private sector around the world to address what is surely a second pandemic triggered by loss, anxiety, and social isolation” — Thomas Insel, MD, co-founder of Humanest Care. Survey finds concerns AND hope to address growing mental health needs due to the covid pandemic

#8. Can biofeedback-based videogames help children better manage stress? Magellan Health and Mightier secure $2 million NIMH grant to investigate

#9. “The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) has reviewed almost 600 mental health apps … only 29.6% meet quality thresholds” The landscape of digital mental health apps: huge unmet needs, quality concerns, app stores asked to ensure transparency

#10. Finally, an idea out there worth exploring … Next: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy?

Have a healthy and stimulating month of March,

The SharpBrains Team

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