As kooky as it sounds, it’s within the realm of possibility – or at least U.S. military scientists believe it is. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced last week that it is working on an improved version of an implanted “brain pacemaker,” or the devices that are currently being used to treat patients ranging from Parkinson’s to deep depression.
The $70 million program, which DARPA calls Systems-Based Neurotechnology and Understanding for the Treatment of Neuropsychological Illnesses, is part of the mega-neuroscience initiative announced by U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this year. The military agency, which specializes in far-out science (it created the internet and the computer mouse, among many other things), is hoping to use its discoveries to treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental issues.
DARPA is “trying to change the game on how we approach these kinds of problems,” according to program director Justin Sanchez. Read the rest of this entry »