Can brain implants help restore memory?

Restoring memory plays a key role in my scientific technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH: Playing God with Body, Soul and Biotech, Though REMEDY is finished and out in the world, I still have Google search and other similar on the lookout for new developments.  (Who knows? Maybe there will be a sequel sometime. But what would I title it? SON OF REMEDY FOR DEATH?  Nah, guess I'll have to keep looking.)

Anyway, Bloomberg published the article referenced here, "Brain implants hold promise in restoring combat memory loss," which ties in (sort of) with what happens at the fictional Hauenfelder Clinic. There they use a different kind of brain implants for memory restoration.  But who knows? If there's a sequel they may adapt the approach profiled in the Bloomberg article.

Here's the link to that Bloomberg article, by Kathleen Miller:

Bloomberg: Brain implants promise restoring combat memory loss

 The research, mostly funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) initially focuses on helping wounded soldiers with brain injuries, but is expected to be useful to others with memory disorders, such as Alzheimer's, dementia, injury or certain diseases.

A large part involves the surgical mplantation of electric probes in the brain to stimulate memories, particularly "task-based" skills-- like how to drive, how to dress and the like. This rather than --in this study-- recall of abstract memories such as names.  (But I expect work on that kind of memory restoratio isn't far behind.) 

Note, this group of studies does not involve implanting brain cells, but as I've recorded elswhere in this blog, that is being done. Link to other blog posts here on human brain cells implanted into mice, and other related

For much more, check out the   Categories / archives section on the sidebar of this blog, linking you to my past posts on memory, brain implants, tissue engineering, and more

The human brain and how it works-- two good visuals

 As the workings and formation of the human brain play a role in my speculative medical thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, I thought it would be helpful to include two different slide shows on related topics, as background for your reading.

 The first is from Britain's New Scientist, and provides a sort of map of the parts of the brain, and what each part plays in the overall workings.   That is, click the link to "emotions"  or "social interactions," and the slide flashes the related part of the brain.  New Scientist graphic: How the human brain works    Though it doesn't explicitly say so here, I anticipate that the scientists have linked the brain part to the function by using various kinds of brain scans.

 The second is from a recent Washington Post series on brain injuries, particularly those suffered by American soldiers as a result of roadside bombs.  This slide show also shows visuals of the various brain parts, though here the focus is on the consquences when any of those parts is injured.  You'll  find those visuals here:  Washington Post: The science of brain injury   Bear in mind that these graphics are only part of an extended series in the Post, and you can link to the rest from that graphic.

"Drugs could cleanse brain of bad memories" --- Independent (UK)

From article: "Fears about how drugs manipulate a person's memory are overblown, claims law professor Adam Kolber.

 "Millions of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress after a harrowing experience could benefit from mind-altering drugs that can rid the brain of bad memories, a legal scholar has suggested.

"Yet the prospect of using drugs to dampen the memory of a distressing episode in someone's life is being thwarted by unfounded concerns about their misuse, according to Adam Kolber, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School in New York."

Why am I including a reference to this article here: Because my thriller, The Life After Life Conspiracy, is in part about memories--- where they are "stored" and how they can be manipulated or moved.  This article (and the underlying paper published in the prestigious science journal Nature) touch on that related issue, of howand whether factual recall can be altered . . . and when and if it should be done, legally or ethically.


"Drugs could cleanse brain of bad memories" --- Steve Connor article in Independent (UK)