The U.S. military is making a startling new claim that a chip, to be implanted in the brains of soldiers and veterans – willingly, of course – will be able treat anxiety, depression, memory loss and the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD has become one of the most important battles facing veterans in the post-war period.
The innovative, and equally disturbing, brain chip to treat PTSD in soldiers and veterans could change the way that these problems are treated.
With $12 million (and the potential for $26 million more if benchmarks are met),
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, already has $12 million invested in the proposed $26 million project.
“DARPA is looking for ways to characterize which regions come into play for different conditions – measured from brain networks down to the single neuron level – and develop therapeutic devices that can record activity, deliver targeted stimulation, and most importantly, automatically adjust therapy as the brain itself changes,” DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez claimed.
The chip would have the ability to record, predict and supposedly treat anxiety, depression and other mood and mental disorders. The chip is in development in association with teams from University of California at San Francisco, Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Medtronic. Together, they will use the sizable chunk of money to create a cybernetic implant with electrodes that connect deeply into the brain.
Edward Chang, a neuroscientist at the University of California at San Francisco told Defense One military news that so far, “Little is understood of how the brain’s neural circuitry relates to anxiety and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This project will seek to markedly improve that understanding by obtaining maps of the brain’s electrical activity at higher resolution than has been previously possible. The ultimate impact on the treatment of major depression, anxiety disorders, and other conditions remains to be seen, but a more clear understanding of the basis of these disorders is badly needed.”
The DARPA claims they should have a prototype within 5 years after which they will seek FDA approval.
(Article by Isa Abu Jamal)