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Defense Department Invests In Brain Implants For Depression, PTSD

Liss Murphy, who had surgery to implant Deep Brain Stimulation for depression in 2006 and got much better, on Cape Cod in summer, 2014, with husband Scott, son Owen and sheepdog Ned. (Courtesy)
Liss Murphy, who had surgery to implant Deep Brain Stimulation for depression in 2006 and got much better, on Cape Cod in summer, 2014, with husband Scott, son Owen and sheepdog Ned. (Courtesy)

More than 100,000 people have electrical stimulation devices implanted in their brains to treat Parkinson’s disease. The implants block the abnormal nerve signals that cause Parkinson’s symptoms like tremor and stiffness.

Now the Department of Defense is putting up $70 million to develop a new generation of brain implants to target depression and PTSD. These devices would detect and correct abnormal brain activity in real time.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carey Goldberg of WBUR met up with the scientists and engineers who are taking on the challenge some call “a moon shot for the mind.”

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