U.S. military developing brain device to restore memory

DARPA has chosen two universities to help lead its Restoring Active Memory, RAM, program. The agency’s program strives to develop and test wireless and implantable neuroprosthetics with the goal of assisting service members, veterans, and individuals who are struggling with memory deficits that result from a traumatic brain injury, TBI, or a disease.

The organization contracted Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LNLL, to help develop a brain implant that is capable of recording and stimulating neurons to help restore memory. The primary goal is to use this implant for patients suffering from various type of currently incurable memory loss conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Justin Sanchez, DARPA Program Manager, said in a statement, “The start of the Restoring Active Memory program marks an exciting opportunity to reveal many new aspects of human memory and learn about the brain in ways that were never before possible.” He continued, “Anyone who has witnessed the effects of memory loss in another person knows its toll and how few options are available to treat it. We’re going to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in RAM to develop new options for treatment through technology.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, TBI often occurs following a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. Mild injuries can lead to temporary brain cell dysfunction, while more serious injuries can cause bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other damage, resulting in long-term complications or death.