Is Brain Chip Implants The Next Mental Health Breakthrough?
This long read is an interesting survey of brain maladies, and the extreme cases where medicine seemed unable to alleviate or give any respite in treatment. The case of Liss Murphy may be the first to be implanted with electronic neurostimulators, and it brought her out of severe depression and gave her her life back. Where does this lead us is thought-provoking but not without its dangers, as research in this field presently is in its infancy. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding the study at Massachusetts General Hospital and University of California, San Francisco, in developing treatments for the most intractable psychiatric illnesses.
For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices. DARPA comprises approximately 220 government employees in six technical offices, including nearly 100 programme managers, who together oversee about 250 research and development programmes.
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