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Neurotechnology

The Futuristic Frontier

People around the globe would definitely want to delete all the bad memories of their life, and neurotechnology is expected to make this possible in future. It has been predicted that by 2040, manipulation of memories, such as eradication of unhappy ones, is definitely possible. In this blog, we will get to know more about the development and future avenues of neurotechnology. Human beings are fascinated towards increasing their focus and this is possible with amalgamation neuroscience and technology. The term "neurotechnology" refers to the combination of techniques and tools that provide a direct link between technological elements and the nervous system. These technological elements might be electrodes, computers, or artificial intelligence devices. They are designed to either "translate" brain impulses into technical control orders by recording them, or they might be used to stimulate the brain via electrical or visual stimulation.


How Neurotechnology is Being Used?

Scientists are applying neurotechnology in the wellness and medical domains. Two of the prominent utilizations of nanotechnology are-

  • 1- Neuro Stimulations - By using neuro simulations, electrical signals are provided to particular parts of the patient spinal cord or brain. The neuro stimulations procedures are used to treat conditions such as movement disorders, Parkinson’s diseases, epilepsy etc.
  • 2- Brain Imaging - Brain imaging is a technique which develops interaction between particle radiation and brain tissue. It is used to develop corresponding brain maps.
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Importance of Developing and Researching Neuro Technologies:

The potential of neurotechnology market lies in the ability to reduce the human perils by providing better treatments. Many people may harness benefit for treatments of severe diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, along with medical applications, these technologies have the ability to upraise the day to day human experience. For instance, neurotechnology can be utilized to enhance cognitive ability and reinvigorate physical performance.


Types of Neurotechnology:

Several types of neurotechnology can be used to improve brain function and help people with specific conditions. These technologies include:

  • Deep Brain Stimulation – Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a cognitive-enhancing procedure that uses electrical currents to modulate neuronal activity in the brain. This can be used to treat neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression. There are two main types of DBS: primary DBS therapy and adjunctive DBS therapy.

    1) Primary DBS therapy involves using an implantable device that sends electrical current directly into specific areas of the brain.

    2) Adjunctive DBSD treatment occurs when electrodes are placed on top of existing spinal implants and wires lead from these devices into critical regions of the cerebral cortex where they send or block electric impulses according to need. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but overall, there appears to be evidence that primary DBSD is more effective than adjunctive treatments for treating certain conditions such as OCD and major depressive episodes. DBS has been performed on more than 160,000 individuals worldwide for a range of neurological and non-neurological problems, and the number of patients is rising every year.

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – A changing magnetic field is used to create an electric current in a particular region of the brain by electromagnetic induction in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive method of brain stimulation. A magnetic coil is attached to the scalp by an electric pulse generator, sometimes known as a stimulator. The coil in the stimulator produces a fluctuating electric current that causes a fluctuating magnetic field, which induces a current inside a specific area of the brain. TMS produces a clinically significant response in 50% to 60% of depressed patients who have tried and failed to benefit from medication. Neither electrode implantation nor surgery is needed for TMS. Diagnostic and therapeutic uses may be separated from its utilization. The total number of magnetic pulses delivered depends on the duration of the therapy, the frequency and strength of the magnetic pulses, and the effects.

    1) Diagnosis - TMS, most often using single or paired magnetic pulses, may be used therapeutically to assess the activity and functionality of certain brain circuits in people. The most common use is to measure the relationship between the motor cortex of the central peripheral nervous nervous system to assess injury from previous or ongoing neurologic trauma.

    2) Treatment - Repetitive high-frequency TMS (rTMS), notably in the domains of neurology and mental health, has shown diagnostic and therapeutic potential with the central nervous system in several illness conditions.

  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation - Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that has been shown to improve cognitive abilities in healthy adults. The current study investigated the effects of tDCS on working memory performance and resting state connectivity in older adults with mild Alzheimer's disease. Results indicated that tDCS significantly improved working memory performance, as well as task-specific integrity and global efficiency of the hippocampal network. In addition, these changes were not associated with increases in psychological distress or stress levels. A simple "consumer" tDCS device may cost as little as $100, whereas "research-grade" tDCS systems can cost as much as $10,000. Different gadgets have a wide variety of functions and capacities.
  • Electrophysiology - Brainwave activity may be measured non-invasively using electroencephalography (EEG). Electrical signals are evaluated using a collection of assets to generate all over the head and scalp. In clinical settings, EEGs are used to examine epilepsy, stroke, and the existence of brain tumors. Similar concepts underlie electrocorticography (ECoG), which calls for the invasive implantation of electrodes on the surface of the brain to more properly record local field potentials or action potentials. The sensitivity and specificity of the EEG were 17.3% in adults and 57.8% in children, respectively, in patients that had a first unprovoked seizure and were monitored for at least a year.
  • Neurological Implants - Neurotechnological implants are devices that are used to help people with disabilities or deficits in communication. These implants can be designed to enhance a person’s cognitive abilities, prosthetic capabilities, and/or speech output. There is growing interest in neurotechnological implants due to their potential benefits for people who have difficulties performing everyday activities such as working, interacting with others, or reading. According to around two-thirds (64%) and 55% of respondents, respectively, it seems probable that persons with computer chips in their brains would feel more confident about themselves and be more productive at work.
  • Pharmaceuticals - Pharmaceuticals, which are most often used by the general population and in medicine, are crucial for maintaining stable brain chemistry. Drugs that function as chemical modulators in the brain, such as sertraline, methylphenidate, and zolpidem, enable normal activity in many individuals whose brains are unable to work perfectly under extreme pressures. Although they have their area and are often not acknowledged, medicines play one of the largest and most pervasive roles in contemporary culture. Using magnetic particles to deliver drugs to specific parts of the brain is a unique area of inquiry that still doesn't result in circuit damage that can be seen. However, early funding in cognitive neuroscience is still at a healthy level. In 2018, venture capitalists invested $1.5 billion in it.

Brain Implants in the Future of Neurotechnology:

Brain implants will play an increasingly important role in neurotechnology in the future. Already, they are being used to treat a variety of conditions, including epilepsy, depression, and chronic pain. In the next few years, they will likely be widely used to enhance cognitive functioning and improve various aspects of daily life such as memory recall and dexterity. For instance, smart neural chips enhance wireless brain signal transmission into fingers and hands with around 95% accuracy, and this is expected to increase demand for brain implants throughout the projected period. One reason why brain implant is so promising is that they enable direct communication between the mind and technology. This allows for more effective treatment by using devices that interact with neural networks directly rather than relying on indirect methods like pills or physical therapy. Additionally, brain implants can be programmed to learn from experience which makes them even more valuable tools for treating mental illnesses or disabilities.

New Developments in Neurotechnology:

There are many new developments in neurotechnology that are changing the way we think about how the brain works. One of the most recent and exciting breakthroughs is what's called the "brain-computer interface" or BCI. This technology allows people with disabilities to control sophisticated computer systems by directly interfacing their brains with digital devices. BCI has already been used to help those who have paralysis control speech recognition software, prosthetic arms, and other types of neurology devices. It has even been tested on patients who have lost complete use of their limbs due to a stroke or other health issue. The potential applications for BCI go far beyond disability rehabilitation; it could be used to improve cognitive function in aging adults, enhance learning abilities in children, and much more. Brain-computer interface (BCI) sales are predicted to increase globally, from $1.9 billion in 2021 to $3.3 billion in 2026.

Impact of Neurotechnology Advances on Health and Life Protection:

Neurotechnology is quickly evolving and impacting many facets of our lives, including health. By 2020, it is estimated that neurotech will have a $1 trillion impact on the global economy. This includes things like prosthetic devices that enable people with disabilities to live more independent lives and brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) that allow people to operate machinery or drive cars using only their thoughts. Of course, there are also implications for healthcare. For example, treatments related to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia can be improved by incorporating neurotechnology into clinical care plans. Additionally, advancements in cognitive enhancement can help older adults stay mentally alert and engaged with life while preventing age-related memory decline and other cognitive issues associated with aging.

Business Applications of Neurotechnology:

Neurotechnology is a relatively new field that has the potential to revolutionize many different aspects of the business. With this technology, businesses can improve their customer service, automate processes and workflows, and optimize operations across various platforms.

Some of the most common applications for neurotechnology include:

  1. Improvements to customer service by automating tasks such as responding to complaints or questions in a professional manner.
  2. Process automation through task scripting or programmability.
  3. Improved collaboration between employees by using neurostimulator devices to help people focus and stay on task.
  4. Real‑time detection of mistakes or issues so they can be remedied before they become significant problems.

Regional Growth on Neurotechnology:

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience the highest growth in neurotechnology due to increasing life expectancy, rising affluence, and growing consumer adoption of advanced health and wellness technologies. This includes devices such as brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), which allow people with disabilities to control machines or computers using their thoughts. The Asia-Pacific region will account for the largest share of the market during this period, with a CAGR of 18%. North America and Europe are also expected to witness growth during this time frame, with respective CAGRs calculated at 14% and 10%, respectively. In 2021, the Asia Pacific market for neurotech devices accounted for approximately 15% of global sales.

In a Nutshell,

This can be concluded that neurotechnology is going to affect almost every domain. These technologies could be used in applications such as education, military or national security, workplace, sports, and consumer applications. So, neurotechnology is expected to enhance humanity by treating crippling diseases and the market enormous possibilities.

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swara-keni
Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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