Friday, November 09, 2018

National Cancer Institute Designates BrainHQ as a Research-Tested Intervention Program

National Cancer Institute Designates BrainHQ as a Research-Tested Intervention Program
// Posit Science | Brain Fitness & Brain Training

Monday, November 5, 2018

(SAN FRANCISCO) — The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the US National Institutes of Health has designated BrainHQ online brain exercises, made by Posit Science, as a part of its "Research-Tested Intervention Programs" (RTIPs). BrainHQ is now included in the NCI database of evidence-based cancer interventions and program materials for program planners and public health practitioners.

The RTIPs program was set up by NCI to more rapidly move new science into "programs for people." It is a searchable database to help practitioners and program planners find evidence-based interventions that have sufficient relevance to be considered for use in real-world settings.

BrainHQ was selected for inclusion into the RTIPs program because it was tested in research studies, produced positive behavioral and psychosocial findings in cancer survivors, and study results were published in peer-reviewed medical journals. These findings were independently reviewed and scored by NCI and its partners as part of the process by which BrainHQ was included in the RTIPs program.

In selecting BrainHQ for RTIPs, NCI looked at published studies on the use of BrainHQ to address common complaints of cognitive impairment associated with cancer and its treatment. These cognitive impairments are often referred to as "cancer-induced cognitive impairment" or, more colloquially, as "chemobrain." Up to 90 percent of cancer survivors report cognitive issues from cancer or its treatment. There is no widely-accepted treatment for chemobrain.

NCI reviewed an 82-person randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of Indiana, which found that those who used a set of visual processing exercises now found in BrainHQ showed improvements, as compared to the control group, in objective measures of processing speed and verbal memory, as well as on standard measures of perceived cognitive functioning, symptom distress (anxiety, mood, fatigue), and quality of life. NCI also took note of a 242-person pragmatic study led by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, which found improvements compared to the control group in self-reported cognitive symptoms, symptom distress, and quality of life.

"We are honored that BrainHQ has been selected by the National Cancer Institute for inclusion in the Research-Tested Intervention Programs," said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. "It is our mission to get scientific breakthroughs like brain-plasticity-based training out of the research lab and into the hands of people it can help. That crucially depends on groups like NCI RTIPs to qualitatively evaluate the level of evidence in new scientific fields, so that program planners and public health practitioners can deliver services that improve people's lives. "

There are now more than 100 peer-reviewed medical and science journal articles on the benefits of Posit Science exercises and assessments, across varied populations. BrainHQ exercises have been shown to improve standard measures of cognition (speed, attention, memory), quality of life (mood, confidence, health-related quality of life) and real-world activities (gait, balance, driving) in healthy adults.

About Posit Science
Posit Science is the leading provider of clinically proven brain fitness training. Its exercises, available online at, have been shown to significantly improve brain speed, attention, memory and numerous standard measures of quality of life in multiple studies published in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in leading science and medical journals. Three public television documentaries as well as numerous stories on news programs, in national magazines, and in major newspapers have featured Posit Science's work. The company's science team is led by renowned neuroscientist Michael Merzenich, PhD.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Research Byte: Flynn Effect in Kuwait, 1985-1998

This study will be added to the Flynn Effect Archive Project the next time it is update.

Law Review Article: Evaluating Intellectual Disability: Clinical Assessments in Atkins Cases (Ellis et al., 2018)

This new law review article is, IMHO, the best overview article regarding the history of ID, the legal issues in Atkins cases, and good discussion of the major conceptual and measurement issues found in many Atkins cases. An excellent introduction to ID issues in Atkins cases.


James W. Ellis, Caroline Everington, Ann M. Delpha


The intersection of intellectual disability and the death penalty is now clearly established. Both under the U.S. Supreme Court's constitutional decisions and under the terms of many state statutes, individual defendants who have that disability cannot be sentenced to death or executed. It now falls to trial, appellate, and post-conviction courts to determine which individual criminal defendants are entitled to the law's protection. This Article attempts to assist judges in performing that task. After a brief discussion of the Supreme Court's decisions in Atkins v. Virginia, Hall v. Florida, and Moore v. Texas, it analyzes the component parts and terminology of the clinical definition of intellectual disability. It then offers more detailed discussion of a number of the clinical issues that arise frequently in adjudicating these cases. For each of these issues, the Article's text and the accompanying notes attempt to provide judges with a thorough survey of the relevant clinical literature, and an explanation of the terminology used by clinical professionals. Our purpose is to help those judges to become more knowledgeable consumers of the clinical reports and expert testimony presented to them in individual cases, and to help them reach decisions that are consistent with what the clinical literature reveals about the nature of intellectual disability and best professional practices in the diagnostic process.

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Friday, November 02, 2018