Scientists at the University of Southern California and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre worked for over a decade to develop a high-tech electronic implant. Funding for the project came from the U.S. military which was seeking a way to help injured soldiers overcome memory loss. Researchers maintain that the technology could also benefit those with brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. This technology represents the very first time that scientists anywhere in the world have used computers to manipulate memory signals directly in the human brain.
According to the project leader, the device is already being tested in humans. Dr. Clare Walton, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Society, said, “A prosthetic memory device is a very exciting prospect, but it has taken decades of research to get this far and there are still many unknowns that need to be worked out by the scientists.”
She elaborated further saying that it is very encouraging to witness cutting edge technologies being applied to help those affected by memory loss, but that it is unreal to expect that people with dementia will be able to utilize this technology within the next decade. She believes that after further development and successful human testing, such treatment may prove to be an effective form of treatment for some forms of dementia but cautions that the technology will not cure or slow the progression of the disease.
Information adapted from an article at http://www.express.co.uk/new/uk/609875