Magazine article National Defense

Brain Implants Could Help 'REMIND' Injured Soldiers

Magazine article National Defense

Brain Implants Could Help 'REMIND' Injured Soldiers

Article excerpt

Scientists may have taken an important step in their work to restore memory to the injured brains of disabled soldiers.

By using a computer chip, researchers have given rats the ability to remember certain tasks over an extended period. Scientists are now studying the concept in monkeys, which moves them one step closer to being able to help troops who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

The idea is to implant an electronic device that bypasses damaged parts of the brain to restore memory and cognitive functions. The research focuses on the hippocampus, an area of the brain that converts short-term memories to long-term ones. Scientists have created a synthetic device that performs this function in rodents. Without a working hippocampus, lab rats could only recall a certain task they were trained to perform for up to I 0 seconds, said Theodore Berger, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California.

The system could help troops who have suffered damage to the temporal lobes after an improvised explosive device blast or similar event. …

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