Nov 6, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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We have all seen the cochlear implants, the early neuro-prosthetic devices that hit the markets a little over 70 years ago.
The problem and the promise of Neuroprosthetics are both grand. The promise, to replace the neurons that are no longer functioning and restore the lost abilities. The problem, that the brain is a complex network of interacting cells, chemicals and wires.
Nevertheless, the progress made to date is impressive. With notable success in using neuroprosthetics in various neurological illnesses such as parkinson's and epilepsy, today's researchers are promising to develop technologies to remedy nervous system deficiencies in elusive illnesses such as the Alzheimer's disease. Suggestions to use these techniques in curing mental and behavioral disorders, will not be too far away. But how far are we from reaching this ultimate targeted therapy option?
As usual, we will start with the historical background, and try to situate the problem within the current health-economy contexts. I am grateful that Meghan (a biomedical engineer, whose current doctoral research involves engineering visual-system neuro-prosthetics) suggested to cover this amazing topic and provide us with a background in the methodological basics and the current state of the art, in order to help us better envision the future of this bio-technology.
For background information: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/560817