Brain Implants To Restore Lost Memories?
270,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. TBI could become the signature injury of these wars. The Military is therefore very concerned with finding treatments for vets and troops with brain injuries. A major concern is memory loss. As part of President Obama’s multimillion-dollar BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technology) initiative, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded $15 million to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and $22.5 million to the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) for four years of research on brain implants that will provide electrostimulation to neurons involved in specific memories. This seems like science fiction, but the neuroscientists heading the two teams are optimistic, although they say the work will be very hard. From their research on epileptic patients, they think stimulation will help neurons retrieve memories. (Full story)