Today, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the Department of Defense, announced a new 5-year, $70 million initiative called the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program. SUBNETS “will pursue a new investigative approach that establishes the characteristics of distributed neural systems and attempts to develop and apply therapies that incorporate near real-time recording, analysis and stimulation in next-generation devices inspired by current Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)” to treat neuropsychological illness and traumatic injuries from combat.
According to the press release, DARPA is specifically interested in the underlying systems of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, borderline personality disorder and general anxiety disorder. In addition, DARPA will study the presentation of traumatic brain injury, substance abuse/addiction, and fibromyalgia/chronic pain within the central nervous system.
“SUBNETS is a push toward innovative, informed and precise neurotechnological therapy to produce major improvements in quality of life for service members and veterans who have very few options with existing therapies. These are patients for whom current medical understanding of diseases like chronic pain or fatigue, unmanageable depression or severe post-traumatic stress disorder can't provide meaningful relief,” said DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez in the press release.
Stay tuned for extended coverage of SUBNETS in an upcoming issue of Neurology Today. For our previous stories on DBS, see our archives: http://bit.ly/16xZqQl.