Treating mental illnesses across the USA is wrought with imperfections. Existing treatments like psychotherapy and medications aren’t guaranteed to work, especially over time.
The military’s research arm is taking a different tack in funding a $26 million project to develop a device implanted in the skull. The goal is to stimulate parts of the brain as a way to treat psychiatric disorders including depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding the five-year project led by University of California, San Francisco and Massachusetts General Hospital.
An implanted device could allow researchers to stimulate specific parts of the brain in ways not previously possible.
For example, if a patient is treated for depression with Prozac, the entire brain is affected by elevated levels of serotonin, said Dr. Emad Eskandar, a neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and one of the lead researchers on the DARPA project.
“It’s much better to fix the actual part of the brain that’s not working properly and not just bathe the whole brain with a chemical soup that has some undesirable side effects,” Eskandar told USA TODAY Network.
Implantable devices are already used to treat Parkinson’s disease, with a device implanted in the chest and a wire that runs up to the brain. But these devices can only target one or two areas of the brain, said Justin Sanchez, DARPA program manager.
The DARPA-funded device could potentially be implanted between the scalp and skull and target several parts of the brain, depending on the disorder, Sanchez said.
What’s more, the device will allow researchers to observe brain activity in real-time, which could be particularly helpful with disorders like PTSD that are “episodic” in nature, Eskandar said.
“Someone might hear a loud noise that triggers a fearful or anxious response,” he said. “So you don’t want to continuously deliver stimulation unnecessarily.”
The project is part of President Obama’s Brain Initiative, a $100 million effort to research brain mapping that could lead to new ways of treating a wide range of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, autism and traumatic brain injury.
DARPA has previously funded research for implantable devices that would help restore memory.
NOTICE OF DATA BREACH Dear User, We are writing to inform you about a data security issue that may involve your Yahoo account information. What Happened? A copy of certain user account information was stolen from our systems in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor. We are closely coordinating with law...
12:15am EDT Breaking News The hashtag #GasShortage is trending on twitter for Tennessee. It will soon be trending elsewhere. My brother reported to me a few minutes ago that Gas stations in Greensboro NC are out of gas and those truck stops have only about 7000 Gallons as of 1155pm EST. The immediate...
World Peace: The Final Chapter By Brooks Agnew Notes from 04 September 2016 World peace has been cited by pageant misses as their life’s work for more than a century. It is the stuff of happily ever fairy tales and Mendala shifting Disney movies. Guard dropping press releases misled Neville Chamberlain and countless other kings to...
Forgiveness by Luckee1 as heard on 30 August 2016 http://tfrlive.com/luckee-with-truth-frequency-news-66847/ I know when I was a girl, I was told that we had to forgive others. The adults, especially those associated with church, always talked about forgiving others. They also talked about how Jesus died for our forgiveness. They would talk about things like forgive your...
Original post is: Watch as amazing GcMAF treatment kills cancer cells in real time… holistic doctors ‘suicided’ over this stunning breakthrough A breakthrough cancer treatment appears to be the reason why a handful of holistic doctors were recently found “suicided” is now gaining worldwide attention as a potential universal cure for cancer. And new microscopic...