Soon, people suffering from ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain damage from traumatic brain injuries will be able to enhance their memories while being analyzed and monitored by computerized assistants with human faces. An article inWired detailed the possibilities being explored by various companies in the search for more effective and efficient treatment for the many veterans returning to the United States with brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mercury News reported recently that Intel has invested large amounts of money on research and development of thought-controlled devices, otherwise known as brain-computer interfaces. Research is underway to determine the best way to harness the power of thought. The internal method requires a craniotomy to implant electrodes in or upon the brain, while the external method consists of applying electrodes to the scalp to monitor brainwaves.
The implications of the research could hold many benefits for spinal cord injury sufferers and traumatic brain injury survivors. Electrodes implanted directly into a patient’s brain may control prosthetic limbs of the near future. The devices might even include some kind of sensors to simulate the sensation of touch along the prosthetic skin.
Monitoring devices grow increasingly complex, as companies develop computers that can collect psychological data. Attention Control Systems Inc. is developing a bot that will, ‘collect psychological data, detect panic attacks and measure psychological symptoms,’ according to the Wired article.
For veterans suffering with the symptoms of traumatic brain injury, the military has invested in high-tech schedulers to remind patients to complete various tasks, to help them stay focused throughout the day, and to monitor their movement and give them prompts when necessary.
With current advances in neurology, electronics, brain-computer interfaces, wireless technology, biotechnology, genetics, stem cells, and prosthetics, the future looks bright for spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury survivors.
Drummond, Katie. (April 15, 2009) ‘Pentagon’s New PTSD Treatments: Wireless Monitors, Software Pals.’ Retrieved on January 17, 2010 from the Wired Web site:http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/04/pentagons-new-p/
Johnson, Steve. (January 17, 2010) ‘Intel joins search for thought-controlled cell phones, TVs and computers.’ Retrieved on January 17, 2010 from the Mercury News Web site:http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14192702