Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) today announced a new research initiative designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other neurological and psychiatric disorders. The goal of the project, which is made possible by a $30 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is to design and build a first-of-its-kind implantable deep brain stimulation (DBS) device which will monitor signals across multiple brain structures in real time. Based on the monitored activity, it will then deliver stimulation to key areas to alleviate symptoms related to neuropsychiatric disorders such as PTSD, severe depression, drug addiction, and TBI.
“Deep brain stimulation has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of brain diseases, especially those involving movement like Parkinson’s disease,” says Emad Eskandar MD, director of functional neurosurgery at MGH and the project’s principal investigator. “Our goal is to take DBS to the next level and create an implantable device to treat disorders like PTSD and TBI. Together with our partners we’re committed to developing this technology, which we hope will be a bold new step toward treating those suffering from these debilitating disorders.”