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DARPA Seeks Brain Systems Measuring Tech; Justin Sanchez Comments

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking a technology to analyze and measure brain systems for a program to develop therapies for neuropsychological illnesses among veterans and active soldiers.

DARPA wants to evaluate medical hardware, human neural system models, clinical neurology and animal researches for the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies program, the agency said Friday.

That program’s goal is to consolidate recording, analysis and stimulation technologies based on a deep brain stimulation approach in order to investigate neural systems and treat neuropsychological illnesses of service crews.

“We’re talking about a whole systems approach to the brain, not a disease-by-disease examination of a single process or a subset of processes,” said Justin Sanchez, DARPA program manager.

DARPA intends to investigate the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, borderline personality disorder and general anxiety disorder.

Other areas of research include how the central nervous system represents itself in the event of traumatic brain injury, substance abuse and chronic pain.

DARPA has created a panel of academic community, medical ethicists and clinical and research scientists who will work to advise the agency on ethical, legal and social implications of the program’s work.

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