Brain implants help patients clear the fog

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The Future. A new study has found that by setting off tiny electric pulses in the brain, people suffering from traumatic brain injuries can regain some focus, attention, and mood stability. That’s a big deal for the over five million Americans who are permanently disabled due to head trauma.… and may lead to technology becoming a prescribable therapy.

Head cases
As it turns out, you can shock the human brain into working better.

  • Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York found that each hemisphere of the brain has a structure called a “central lateral nucleus” that, when stimulated, can help boost cognitive function.
  • To test the theory, the researchers implanted small electrodes into the brains of five people with traumatic brain injuries resulting from car crashes or falls — accidents that “break some of the long-distance connections in the network” beyond full repair.
  • The results: their scores on cognitive tests jumped between 15% and 52%, with patients reporting that they felt much more like their normal selves again.

One of the patients, Gina Arata, had to drop out of law school and was unable to hold down a job in the 18 years since a car crash “left her with fatigue, memory problems, and uncontrollable emotions,” per NYT. Now, “I can be a normal human being and have a conversation. It’s kind of amazing how I’ve seen myself improve.”

Sometimes, technology can be a miracle.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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