March 30, 2019

Brain Chip

Timothy Birdnow

Scientists are about to implant microchips into human brains The primary goal is to help control epilepsy.

According to The Tribune:

After two decades of painstaking design, experiments, redesign and observations, a two-way, brain-chip is almost ready for human trials. At first, the bionic chip will be used to manage patients suffering from epilepsy – especially those who do not respond to any drugs present on our shelves.

Dr Naweed Syed, the pioneer of two-way, brain cell activity reading chips will conduct first-ever human experiments in the middle of this year. The ultra-sensitive, hybrid brain chip will be used first as a diagnostic device for epileptic patients through a variety of approaches that have never been employed before.

The abnormal firing of brain signals is the main cause of seizures among epileptic patients. If we stretched our brain at the size of a big hall and step inside, we will see the countless electrical sparks travelling from one place to another and to almost every part of the body. During any movement, the upper part of the brain lights up with activity, while the lower part of the brain fires signals when you are trying to recall any sweet memory. Electric signals that translate into chemical signals – are the prime means of communications that control all bodily functions – managed by 100 billion specialised cells called neurons.

Epilepsy is a terrible disease and hopefully this effort will bear fruit. But we must be careful; success in this instance could lead to other, less well-intended efforts. How long before usch devices are used to control people rather than help them?

We live in a Brave New World.

The article continues:

Dr Naweed Syed, the pioneer of two-way, brain cell activity reading chips will conduct first-ever human experiments in the middle of this year. The ultra-sensitive, hybrid brain chip will be used first as a diagnostic device for epileptic patients through a variety of approaches that have never been employed before.

The abnormal firing of brain signals is the main cause of seizures among epileptic patients. If we stretched our brain at the size of a big hall and step inside, we will see the countless electrical sparks travelling from one place to another and to almost every part of the body. During any movement, the upper part of the brain lights up with activity, while the lower part of the brain fires signals when you are trying to recall any sweet memory. Electric signals that translate into chemical signals – are the prime means of communications that control all bodily functions – managed by 100 billion specialised cells called neurons.
The two way communication bionic chip can talk and listen to brain cells. PHOTO: FILE

The two way communication bionic chip can talk and listen to brain cells. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Traditionally, in the case of incurable – or intractable epilepsy, neurosurgeon carefully removes the brain tissue responsible for abnormal signals. However, getting to that specific area is often a guesswork and physical access to those regions also results in damage to, otherwise normal brain tissue. Moreover, the surgical strategy often invokes the removal of otherwise normal brain tissue to avoid any future return of seizure activity. The disease often reemerges – within four to five years – even after invasive, costly and painful surgery.

"The hybrid bionic chip” is one of the three novel chips developed by Syed – aimed at detecting seizures at a resolution never achieved before. Moreover, after its implantation, the chip can detect seizures and convey these signals wirelessly to a wearable pocket backpack – thus relieving the patients of a thirty-foot cable which is otherwise a part of the conventional procedure.

Another important aspect of this chip is that it will be MR compatible– thus allowing the surgeon to pinpoint the precise location of the seizures – thereby facilitating surgical resection. This innovative technology is based on very sensitive electrodes and is soon to be tested on humans at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

"During the human trials, the chip will be able to detect and predict- the epileptic fits in advance and alert the patients to remain calm if she or he is walking or driving. It can also send SMS to emergency services and paramedics – revealing the precise location of the patient through wireless GPS signals while also informing the loved ones.

Syed says that as a next step, the chip will not only detect seizures but also switch to a device that will subdue the seizures by triggering a pulse of negative electrical current which will counter the spread of positive electrical pulses responsible for seizures.

The non-invasive and wireless chip is MR compatible so that the healthcare providers could trace the precise location of seizures in a 3-D model thus pinpointing the exact location of the tissue causing the abnormal signalling in the brain.

End excerpt.

This holds great promise, but there are considerable dangers. This type of technology could be used to do terrible things indeed. In the hands of the wise it would be a tremendous benefit, but Mankind has shown itself to seriously lack wisdom.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:08 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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