Monday, November 23, 2015

New technology could lead to revolutionary treatment of mental disorders



Experiments in which scientists are able to stimulate the brains of mice using an implant are nothing new but recent developments in technology could lead to a better understanding of mental health issues in humans.

As you already know the human brain is the most complicated computer ever known and is actually composed of countless electrical circuits. It is believed that a better understanding of how these electrical impulses affect mood and behavior might lead to never before realized treatments of various disorders in people including depression, anxiety and more.

Advancements in wireless brain-stimulating devices now allow researchers to power these devices wirelessly using the animal’s body to collect energy. The mouse (or other small rodent) would then be able to roam more freely while being observed by researchers. Previous devices required a large antennae mounted on the head of the mouse or allowed only a very limited area in which the animal could roam freely thus interfering with its ability to engage socially with other mice.

The new device is only about 2mm’s wide and 3 mm’s in length. It’s about the size of a grain of rice and is 100 times smaller than previous devices. Scientists say that studying the newly unrestricted animal with other animals in the same space will lead to a better understanding of social interaction and could pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in the treatment of chronic pain, a variety of mental disorders and even sleep disorders.

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