Startup Puts Electrodes in Patients Skull to Treat Depression
A startup called Synchron Inc. has developed a device that puts electrodes in a patient’s skull to treat depression. The treatment involves drilling two holes in a patient’s skull and sliding electrodes deep into the patient’s brain. The electrodes reached the Brodmann area, located in the subcallosal cingulate, the pale-pink neural flesh that makes up the center of the human brain.
A startup called Inner Cosmos has developed a device that places electrodes in a patient’s skull to treat depression. The electrodes work by stimulating neurons in the patient’s brain. This device is similar to those used for Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. It sends impulses to the brain to stimulate neurons and measure neuronal activity. The trial will continue for a year and will include one or two more patients.
The electrodes are located in two regions of the brain that process emotions. These areas of the brain are responsible for sending up to 18 biological flares an hour, and they can stimulate them to reduce the symptoms of depressive episodes. It’s unclear whether or not this new treatment is effective, but it is a promising first step for the treatment of depression.
Synchron is a privately held Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Clearwater, Florida. Despite this location, Synchron is not licensed to conduct business in Florida. The company is led by Ilya Kogan, who lives in New York City. The company has received $40 million in eries B financing led by Khosla Ventures. Its advisory board includes visionaries in the fields of technology, neuroscience, and the medical device industry.
The company offers medical technology solutions to treat paralysis and other neurological diseases. Its medical devices are implanted in the brain through a catheter. The neuron signals that are recorded by the device can be used to control an advanced prosthetic.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a treatment option for treating depression. This treatment uses a magnetic field to target the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region involved in executive functions, memory selection, and inhibition of inappropriate responses. In a small study, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that TMS significantly reduced the severity of depression in participants. They plan to conduct a larger, double-blind trial to test the effectiveness of this therapy in treating depression.
TMS works by targeting specific nerve cells in the brain to increase dopamine levels. Studies show that the treatment can help patients with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Studies also indicate that it may be helpful in stroke rehabilitation and in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. However, before trying TMS, it is important to speak to your doctor or psychologist.
A brain-computer interface, also known as a BCI, could help people with depression through the manipulation of their thoughts. The device would be implanted in the patient’s brain and use tiny electrical pulses to normalize connections between neurons. This stimulation could help people with depression feel happier and more relaxed. The device is about the size of two stacked pennies and would interact with the cognitive control network in the brain. It would record the brain’s electrical activity and report back to the doctors any changes in the patterns of neural activity.
The technology is currently being developed by a California-based company, called Inner Cosmos Inc. It is an electrode-based device that sends tiny electrical currents directly into the patient’s brain to target imbalanced brain networks. The device can be easily implanted without requiring cranial surgery. A thin layer of the patient’s skull is shaved to install it.