Throughout a huge selection of panels, workshops, private assemblies and social gatherings, we examined the way to cope with climate change, how to spend money on public infrastructure to better control financial services, and dozens of other pressing matters. In addressing these problems, everyone -- independent of nationality or discipline - brought to the table our most prized asset: the astounding Human Brain.
During captivating and exciting sessions we explored the newest frontiers in neuroscience. A notable focus was around how emerging neurotechnologies, like those empowered by the White House BRAIN Initiative, will help revolutionize our knowledge of the mind and also your brain and record brain process in unprecedented detail and, therefore, find.
In parallel, high ranking government officials and health experts convened to brainstorm about how exactly to "maximize healthy life years." The dialogue revolved around physical well-being and promoting positive lifestyles, but was mostly silent on the issues of cognitive or emotional well-being. The brain, that essential asset everyone has to learn, problem solve and make good-choices, and the associated cognitive neurosciences where so much improvement has occurred in the last two decades, are still largely absent from the well-being plan.
What if present brain research and non-invasive neurotechnologies may be employed to enhance public health and well being? Just how can we start building bridges that are better from present science and the technologies towards wards that are tackling real-world health challenges we're facing?
Great news is that the transformation is underway, albeit underneath the radar. As William Gibson eloquently said, "The future is already here -- it is just not very evenly distributed." People and associations worldwide are likely to spend over $1.3 billion in 2014 in web-based, cellular and biometrics-based solutions to assess and improve brain function. Increase fueled by appearing cellular is poised to continue and noninvasive neurotechnologies, and by consumer and patient demands for self-powered, proactive brain care. For example, 83% of studied early-adopters agree that "adults of all ages should take charge of their very own brain fitness, without waiting for his or her doctors to inform them to" and "would personally require a brief evaluation every year as an annual mental check up."
These are 10 priorities to contemplate, if we wish to improve health & wellness based to the latest neuroscience and non invasive neurotechnology:
1. This is exactly what the Research Domain Standards framework, put forth from the National Institute of Mental Health, is beginning to do.
2. Bring meditative practices to the mainstream, via school-based and corporate programs, and leveraging relatively-affordable biometric systems
3. Coopt pervading actions, such as playing videogames...but in a sense that ensures they have a beneficial effect, such as with cognitive training games specifically designed to prolong cognitive vitality as we age
4. Offer internet-based psychotherapies as first-line interventions for depression and stress (and likely insomnia), as recommended by the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
5. Monitor the negative cognitive and emotional side-effects from a number of clinical interventions, to ensure unintentional effects from the treatment aren't afflictive than the treated person's first condition. Given that the US Food and Drug Administration just cleared an advanced mobile brain health assessment, what prevents broader use of baseline assessments and active monitoring of cognition as an individual begins a particular treatment program or medication?
6. Combine pharmacological interventions (bottom up) with cognitive training (top down) such as the CogniFit - Bayer partnership for patients with Multiple Sclerosis
7. Startup Thync only raised $13 million to market transcranial stimulation in 2015, helping users "change their state of mind." That's not a medical claim per se...but does the technology have to be controlled as a medical device?
8. Invest more research dollars to fine tune brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, to enable truly personalized medicine.
9. Embrace big data research models, like the just-declared UCSF Brain Health Registry, to leapfrog the present clinical trial model that was small and move us closer towards providing personalized, integrated brain care.
10. And, last but definitely not least, encourage physical exercise and bilingual instruction in our schools, диета с кисело мляко and reduce drop out rates. Enhancing and enriching our schools is probably the strongest social intervention (and the first non-invasive neurotechnology) to develop lifelong brain reserve and postponement problems brought by cognitive aging and dementia.
Let us reinforce existing bridges -- and build new ones that are needed -- to enhance our collective health and well-being.
Initiatives such as those above are an important beginning treat and to view the human brain as an advantage to actually optimize years of purposeful, healthy and meaningful living, and to get in across the whole human lifespan.