Treatment of Depression
At Stanford University, researchers are working hard to develop an implantable chip that will help treat depression through the utilization of electrical stimulus. This chip has thus far only been tested on mice but it is the size of a grain of rice and will be placed in the infralimbic cortex which is the center of the brain that deals with “models of depression and anxiety”. This device, if successful, could revolutionize the way society as a whole views mental disorders as well as give physicians a better understanding of how to treat these diseases. Additionally, this development could improve the way in which society consumes electricity in that electrical engineers have utilized a new form of energy transference in lieu of the fact that batteries and other forms of powering the chip would be too bulky and or ineffective. Engineers have utilized the actual body of the mouse itself in order to power the implant- the bodies of the mice will be able to, “interact with surrounding magnetic fields, helping focus energy like a lens from the transmitter to the receiver in the implant.”
Although this device holds much promise in the multiple fields it can affect, there are some questionable points that will have one remaining skeptical. Firstly, this device has only been tested on mice and though these trials have yielded some success, it does not seem this product will be available for the treatment of humans any time soon. Second, the Mice had to travel in an area that was lined with a magnetic lattice and could not roam too far from it in order for the implant to work. Would this change the infrastructure of society if these become more streamlined in treatment? What would entail installing magnetic lattice so these chips could be effective in a social setting? Lastly, even though the device’s intended purpose is to ease the comprehension of mental disorders, not a single article spoke of how the implant could collect data and present it in a usable format for neuroscientists to interpret. Overall, I feel this device has a lot of promise but a long way to go in order to be practical and to be used in the way in which it was intended.