Cupids Health

On building better brains at any age, treating Depression vs. Dementia, emerging neurotechnologies, psychedelics, and more

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing eleven new research find­ings and inno­v­a­tive resources for life­long cog­ni­tive and brain health.

#1. Debate: Are depres­sion and demen­tia two sides of the same coin? And, if they are, how to best approach treatment?

#2. Either way, the ear­li­er the bet­ter, but it’s nev­er too late: New book out­lines the five lifestyle pil­lars to “build a bet­ter brain at any age”

#3. “If I were a car­di­ol­o­gist eval­u­at­ing a patient’s chest pain, for instance, I would speak with the patient, but then I would lis­ten to their heart and mea­sure their pulse and blood pres­sure. I might order an elec­tro­car­dio­gram or a car­diac stress test, tools that weren’t avail­able a cen­tu­ry ago. Because I’m a psy­chi­a­trist, how­ev­er, I eval­u­ate patients in pre­cise­ly the same way that my pre­de­ces­sors did in 1920…” Read­ing Our Minds: New book issues strong call to action to mod­ern­ize psychiatry

#4. Very time­ly effort by Well­come in the UK: Com­pre­hen­sive research review iden­ti­fies most promis­ing inter­ven­tions to boost work­place men­tal health

#5. “As we enter the sec­ond year of the pan­dem­ic, so many peo­ple are strug­gling and seek­ing men­tal health sup­port. Wysa is an exam­ple of how tech­nol­o­gy is help­ing mil­lions of peo­ple access every­day men­tal health sup­port and self-care tools with­out being gat­ed by a clin­i­cal diag­no­sis.” — Dr. Pankaj Jeth­wani, Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent at W Health Ven­tures. Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI)-enabled chat­bot Wysa rais­es $5.5M to broad­en access to men­tal health support

#6. Study: Social media and gen­er­al tech engage­ment not found to “fry” teenagers’ brains

#7. Akili Inter­ac­tive Labs rais­es $160M in equi­ty and debt to trans­form cog­ni­tive health­care via pre­scrip­tion videogame treat­ments. A nice way to cel­e­brate Akil­i’s 10th anniver­sary … they are tar­get­ing ADHD first (now kids, lat­er teens and adults), to be fol­lowed by treat­ments for a range of cog­ni­tive dis­or­ders relat­ed to depres­sion, Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis, Autism, “Covid-Fog” and more.

#8. Study: High­er men­tal well­be­ing (in 2016) seen to low­er health­care costs (in 2017). We still have time to invest in pub­lic men­tal well­be­ing in 2021.

#9. Teladoc Health, hav­ing acquired Livon­go and myS­trength, launch­es inte­grat­ed men­tal health ser­vice for the work­place. “The announce­ment comes as more than half of peo­ple with men­tal health con­cerns report that they do not know where to start when get­ting care, high­light­ing the impor­tance of the dig­i­tal front door myS­trength Com­plete will pro­vide…” This is indeed a very com­mon pain point accord­ing to our own research, so good to see the quite com­pre­hen­sive & per­son­al­ized approach.

#10. Cumu­lus Neu­ro­science rais­es $8.3M to devel­op EEG-based wire­less ‘Fit­bit for the brain’ — Fas­ci­nat­ing to see the major role of the Demen­tia Dis­cov­ery Fund, in a bid to accel­er­ate clin­i­cal tri­als and poten­tial therapies.

#11. Last but not least, a very promis­ing clin­i­cal appli­ca­tion of psy­che­delics: Study finds MDMA-assist­ed ther­a­py to be safe and high­ly effec­tive to treat severe PTSD. “The Nature authors spec­u­late that MDMA-assist­ed ses­sions pro­duce a “win­dow of tol­er­ance,” in which patients are able to revis­it trau­mat­ic mem­o­ries, with less shame and anger, and with­out being over­whelmed by PTSD symptoms.”

Wish­ing you a healthy Memo­r­i­al Week­end and month of June,

The Sharp­Brains Team

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