Cupids Health

On centenarians, memory, Mars, tDCS, ADHD, digital health, beautiful brains, and more


Hen­drik­je van Andel Schip­per (1890–2005)

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing ten time­ly resources and research find­ings for life­long brain and men­tal fitness.

#1. Let’s start with a fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry and study 🙂

Study with 330 cen­te­nar­i­ans finds that cog­ni­tive decline is not inevitable … (Henne Hol­stege, PhD, assis­tant pro­fes­sor at Ams­ter­dam Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical Cen­ter) said her inter­est in research­ing aging and cog­ni­tive health was inspired by the “fas­ci­nat­ing” sto­ry of Hen­drik­je van Andel Schip­per, who died at age 115 in 2005 “com­plete­ly cog­ni­tive­ly healthy.”

#2. Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Lisa Gen­o­va, author of the beau­ti­ful nov­el Still Alice, releas­es non-fic­tion book on Mem­o­ry: “It is sober­ing to real­ize that three out of four pris­on­ers who are lat­er exon­er­at­ed through DNA evi­dence were ini­tial­ly con­vict­ed on the basis of eye­wit­ness tes­ti­mo­ny. “You can be 100 per­cent con­fi­dent in your vivid mem­o­ry,” Gen­o­va writes, “and still be 100 per­cent wrong” … Gen­o­va assures her read­ers that only two per cent of Alzheimer’s cas­es are of the strict­ly inher­it­ed, ear­ly-onset kind. For most of us, our chances of devel­op­ing the dis­ease are high­ly amenable to interventions…”

#3. Time­ly tips for the week­end: Shape your envi­ron­ment, shape your mind

  • Sur­round your­self with nature
  • Cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for awe
  • Clear the clutter

#4. “For a mis­sion to suc­ceed, high men­tal and cog­ni­tive func­tion would be absolute­ly crit­i­cal; astro­nauts would be called on to per­form demand­ing tasks in a demand­ing envi­ron­ment. Los­ing 20 IQ points halfway to Mars is not an option … Stress—an emo­tion­al or men­tal state result­ing from tense or over­whelm­ing circumstances—and the body’s response to it, which involves mul­ti­ple sys­tems, from metab­o­lism to mus­cles to memory—may be the chief chal­lenge that astro­nauts face.” Next in NASA’s path to Mars: Over­com­ing astro­nauts’ cog­ni­tive and men­tal health challenges

#5. Study: Depres­sion affects visu­al per­cep­tion … mak­ing it more accu­rate (based on a cool opti­cal illusion)

#6. It’s good to have more tools in the neu­ro toolkit…assuming we use them wise­ly: Emerg­ing appli­ca­tions of tran­scra­nial Direct Cur­rent Stim­u­la­tion (tDCS): e‑sports skills train­ing, cog­ni­tive enhance­ment in old­er adults

#7. Does ADHD treat­ment enable long-term aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess? (Yes, espe­cial­ly when phar­ma­co­log­i­cal and non-phar­ma treat­ments are combined)

#8. Men­tal Health in the Dig­i­tal Age: From dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics to per­son­al­ized men­tal health solu­tions: Pear Ther­a­peu­tics expands plat­form via part­ner­ships with Empat­i­ca, etec­tRx, Key­Wise, and Winterlight

#9. The award was won last year by Indi­an vil­lage teacher Ran­jitsinh Disale; who will be next? Final day to nom­i­nate teach­ers for the $1M Glob­al Teacher Prize 2021

#10. And last, but cer­tain­ly not least, let’s wel­come Men­tal Health Month (May) by appre­ci­at­ing our beau­ti­ful brains

Wish­ing you a men­tal­ly healthy and cog­ni­tive­ly stim­u­lat­ing month of May,

The Sharp­Brains Team





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