In the coming years we will have several non-invasive neurotechnologies that will improve mental health, improve memory and even change the lives of many patients with brain diseases. We invite you to discover them.
When someone imagines the future of humanity, they almost immediately envision the presence of sophisticated technologies. The coming together of people and machines is almost inevitable, an idea that writers like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke or Philip K. Dick anticipated in many of their novels.
That future, in a way, is already here. None of us can spend a second without our technological resources. Also, ever since artificial intelligence projects like GPT chat came out, our way of working will change over time. However, a remarkable advance in terms of technology, we will do it with these devices connected directly to our brain.
Example of this is Neuralink, of businessman and tycoon Elon Musk. The company specializes in developing computer-brain interfaces, which it is currently waiting to test several chips in humans. It is interesting to note that, In a very short time, we will have non-invasive neurotechnologies that will be a complete revolution in the field of mental health.
What once seemed like science fiction material to us, in a few years will be a hopeful reality.
Magic is just a science that we still don’t understand.
-Arthur C. Clarke-
Neurotechnologies that will change our lives
We know that technological advances have brought endless benefits in the field of medicine. However, in the field of neuroscience and mental disorders, it seems that, so far, no major milestones have been reached. We have more sophisticated resources for exploring the brain, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
However, in recent years, new technologies coupled with cutting-edge computational analysis, modeling and artificial intelligence are changing things. We can see what happens at the neurological level in various mental disorders. This will facilitate more effective treatments and, in addition, get to know each mental condition in depth.
Neurotechnologies aim to improve the health and potential of the human brain. It is an area that attracts more and more interest and investment from large companies. Let’s see below what are the developments that are to come in this field and which, as we have already pointed out, are non-invasive resources.
One of the most promising neurotechnologies is related to cranial stimulation that seeks to reduce suicidal ideation in the younger population.
1. Research on chronic pain and depression biomarkers
Artificial intelligence combined with electroencephalography (EEG) and bid data This will allow for better diagnoses. Just put on a cap with several electrodes, to get a very accurate view of brain activity. Thanks to these features, it will be possible to compare information and obtain an accurate pattern of numerous conditions.
It is interesting to know that the most advanced are those referring to chronic pain and depression. The Technical University of Munich (TUM), for example, is developing neurotechnologya field of innovation that seeks to offer better care in the field of mental health.
2. Brain stimulation for depression in young people
Deep brain stimulation is an approach that has been used successfully to treat major depression. However, there is a sector of the population that requires a lot of attention, as, often, neither psychological treatments nor medications offer improvements.
Among the most promising new neurotechnologies is brain stimulation for 16- to 24-year-olds with depression and suicidal behavior. A device was developed that stimulates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This technique, combined with sessions of cognitive exercises, reduces the symptoms associated with depression.
3. Brain assist devices
companies like Medtronic, Neuropace and St. Jude Medical, develop technologies that can change the quality of life for many people. Although we always think about the project Neuralink of Elon Musk, the truth is that there are many organizations working on very specific advances that will soon see the light of day.
One of these projects is to create brain devices that, for example, prevent epileptic seizures.. Also technologies that, through continuous monitoring, improve the administration of certain medications according to needs.
On the other hand, patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) will have robotic assistance devices. Thanks to them, they will be able to drive to have greater autonomy in the different stages of their illness.
4. Virtual reality treatments for trauma
Other neurotechnologies already used in psychological therapy environments are those related to virtual reality. It is known that they are very useful in the treatment of phobias, dementia and for children with autism spectrum disorder. However, a step forward will be taken soon.
in a few years a virtual reality technology combined with brain stimulation will be developed to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. This seeks to mitigate, in another way and session by session, the negative impact caused by an adverse event.
5. Specialized cognitive training video games
Most of us have used classic games on our cell phones to exercise our memory. They are useful resources for the elderly, in order to facilitate a good cognitive stimulation. This is a relevant field in neurotechnologies and this undoubtedly explains why specialized video games are being developed for this purpose.
Cognitive training that seeks to enhance fluid intelligence, as well as working memory, is a resource that we will soon have at our fingertips.
Video games to train cognitive skills will be useful to facilitate healthier aging, improve skills in children and also in people who have suffered a neurological accident.
6. Concentration and self-regulation devices
In an increasingly stimulating and multitasking world, attention is almost on the verge of extinction. It’s hard for us to focus our mental resources on a single activity. Concentration exhausts, the mind runs away and this feeds stress and the feeling of low productivity.
O clothing or technology that we can wear like a watch or headphones, will have another purpose. Devices are being designed to improve our attention, promote calm and emotional self-regulation. Will it be the end of our anxiety? We’ll see when we can use them.
7. Brain-computer interfaces
BCI systems (Brain-Computer Interface) are already here. They consist of interfaces that connect the human mind with the computer, to translate your thoughts and transfer them to an electronic device. We know, it sounds completely like science fiction, but it is necessary to analyze what they consist of to understand their usefulness.
The electrical activity of neurons can be detected and decoded by new technologies. These, in turn, send these messages to a device to perform a specific action. Brain-computer interfaces are neurotechnologies that perform the rehabilitation of lost functions. This would be critical for patients with a modular lesion or who have suffered a stroke.
It is true that we often underestimate the risks associated with technological revolutions. Examples of this are the chatbot or artificial intelligence. However, as always happens in science, the key is in the use we make of it.
There are neurotechnologies that are already part of many therapeutic and medical scenarios. Although, In the future we will have new and exceptional resources that will seek a single objective: to give us quality of life in several areas.. That is the best goal of all, a purpose that, although it seemed like magic before, will come true sooner than we think.
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