Last month I had the fortune to join 1,900 pioneers from 90 countries at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Tianjin, China, to discuss how innovation can improve the state of the world. over
Throughout numerous panels, workshops, private meetings and social gatherings, we analyzed the best way to deal with climate change, the best way to put money into heaps of other urgent issues, and public infrastructure to better regulate financial services. In addressing these issues, everyone — independent of nationality or discipline – brought to the table our most precious asset: the astounding Human Brain.
During arousing and captivating 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, can help discover and record brain process in unprecedented detail and, therefore, revolutionize our understanding of the mind and also the brain.
In parallel, high ranking government officials and health experts convened to brainstorm about how to “maximize healthy life years.” The dialogue revolved around physical health and promoting positive lifestyles, but was mostly silent on the issues of cognitive or emotional health. The brain, that key asset everyone must learn, problem-solve and make great-choices, and also the related cognitive neurosciences where much improvement has happened in the past two decades, are still largely absent from the well-being agenda.
What if brain research that is existing and non-invasive neurotechnologies may be applied to enhance public health and wellbeing? Just how can we begin building better bridges from existing science and also the technologies towards handling wards real world health challenges we are facing?
Good 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 spread.” Individuals and associations worldwide are anticipated to spend over $1.3 billion in 2014 in web-based, mobile and biometrics-based alternatives to assess and enhance brain function. Growth is poised to continue, fueled by emerging mobile and non-invasive neurotechnologies, and by consumer and patient demands for self-driven, proactive brain care. For example, 83% of surveyed early-adopters agree that “adults of all ages should take charge of their own brain fitness, without waiting for his or her doctors to tell them to” and “would personally require a brief appraisal every year as an annual mental check-up.”
These are 10 priorities to consider, if we should enhance health & wellness based to the most recent neuroscience, 90 дневна диета and noninvasive neurotechnology:
1. This really is what the Research Domain Criteria framework, put forth by the National Institute of Mental Health, is starting to do.
2. Bring meditative practices to the mainstream, via school-based and corporate programs, and leveraging relatively-low-cost biometric systems
3. Coopt pervasive activities, for example playing videogames…but in a sense that ensures they have a beneficial effect, such as with cognitive training games created specifically to prolong cognitive energy as we age
4. Offer web-based psychotherapies as first-line interventions for depression and anxiety (and likely sleeplessness), as recommended by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
5. Monitor the negative mental and cognitive side effects from a variety of clinical interventions, to ensure unintentional effects from your treatment are not more afflictive than the treated person’s initial state.
6. Join pharmacological interventions (bottom up) with cognitive training (top-down) such as the CogniFit – Bayer venture for patients with Multiple Sclerosis
7. Start-up Thync only raised $13 million to market transcranial stimulation in 2015, helping users “alter their frame of mind.” That is not a medical claim per se…but does the technology have to be regulated as a medical device?
8. Invest more research dollars to fine-tune brain stimulation techniques, for example transcranial magnetic stimulation, to empower truly personalized medicine.
9. Adopt big data research models, such as the newly-declared UCSF Brain Health Registry, to leapfrog the existing clinical trial model that was modest and move us closer towards producing personalized, incorporated brain care.
10. And, last but definitely not least, boost physical exercise and bilingual education in our schools, and reduce drop-out rates. Enhancing and enriching our schools is probably the strongest social intervention (and the original non invasive neurotechnology) to establish lifelong brain reserve and postponement problems brought by cognitive aging and dementia.
Let us strengthen existing bridges — and build new ones that are needed — to improve our collective health and well-being.
If we desire every citizen to embrace lifestyles that are more favorable, particularly as we confront longer and more demanding lives, it really is imperative that we equip ourselves with the right cognitive and mental resources and tools and better empower. Initiatives like those above are a significant beginning to view and treat the human brain as an advantage to actually maximize years of purposeful, purposeful and healthy living, and to invest in across the entire human lifespan.