Neurofeedback as treatment for depression: some companies make unsupported claims

“Neurofeedback Could Fight Depression-or Just Empty Your Wallet” was posted by Bloomberg BusinessWeek on 5-18-17. This article discusses the emerging field of “neurofeedback,” which is part of the huge brain-training market. The article discusses one company in particular, Neurocore LLC, based in Florida and owned in part by US Education Sec. Betsy DeVos. This company claims to be able, using advanced EEG technology, to be able to help people “optimize their brains” and to improve cognitive performance, diagnose ADHD, and even to provide “a lasting solution” for depression.

Adding trauma-informed, mindfulness-based component to SUD treatment helps parenting

“Trauma-informed, mindfulness-based intervention significantly improves parenting” was posted by ScienceDaily.com on 7-27-17.  This article reviews a study of 120 addicted women who were pregnant, parenting or working towards reunification with children. The women were participating in SUD medication-assisted treatment for opioid conditions. The study added to the regulation medication-assisted programming new treatment modules which provided information about parenting skills, the impact of trauma on parenting, and mindfulness training.

Study finds light from devices to reduce melatonin, affects sleep

Artificial light from digital devices lessens sleep quality: Melatonin skyrockets when blue light is blocked was posted by the ScienceDaily blog on 7-28-17. This article briefly reviews the importance of sleep for various health functions, and summarizes the results for a study that found people using devices in the crucial hours before bedtime to have significantly reduced production of melatonin, by up to 50%!

Should medical, and mental health, professionals “prescribe” spending time in nature?

Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood was broadcasted and posted online by NPR on 7-17-17.  The article begins by clarifying what the term “Forest Bathing,” which comes from Japanese culture, means; basically,  getting out into nature, slowing down, and immersing oneself in the experience by tuning in to the sounds, smells, sights and more.  There actually is an Association of Forest and Nature Therapy Guides and Programs.

Not ready for prime time? “Sleep biomarkers” and activity trackers to diagnose mental illness (Mayo Clinic is involved)

StatNews.com posted This biotech aims to transform the diagnosis of mental illness. Michael Phelps backs it. Can it really work?  This article reports on an Australian company, Medibio, that claims to have developed an algorithm based on “hundreds” of sleep, hear rate and other biomarkers that can “reliably” be monitored using activity trackers – and that the resulting data can be used to diagnose mental illness. Remarkably , the Mayo Clinic has signed on to help Medibio review its diagnostic tools.