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DARPA selects Lawrence Livermore to develop world's first neural device to restore memory
Date:7/8/2014

LIVERMORE, Calif. The Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week.

The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. TBI, in particular, has affected 270,000 military service members since 2000.

The goal of LLNL's workdriven by LLNL's Neural Technology group and undertaken in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Medtronicis to develop a device that uses real-time recording and closed-loop stimulation of neural tissues to bridge gaps in the injured brain and restore individuals' ability to form new memories and access previously formed ones.

The research is funded by DARPA's Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program.

Specifically, the Neural Technology group will seek to develop a neuromodulation systema sophisticated electronics system to modulate neuronsthat will investigate areas of the brain associated with memory to understand how new memories are formed. The device will be developed at LLNL's Center for Bioengineering.

"Currently, there is no effective treatment for memory loss resulting from conditions like TBI," said LLNL's project leader Satinderpall Pannu, director of the LLNL's Center for Bioengineering, a unique facility dedicated to fabricating biocompatible neural interfaces. "This is a tremendous opportunity from DARPA to leverage Lawrence Livermore's advanced capabilities to d
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Contact: Ken Ma
ma28@llnl.gov
925-423-7602
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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DARPA selects Lawrence Livermore to develop world's first neural device to restore memory
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