Using brain scans and direct neuron recording from macaque monkeys, the team found specialized "face patches" that respond to specific combinations of facial features. In the early 2000s, while recording from epilepsy patients with electrodes implanted into their brains, Quian Quiroga and colleagues found that face cells are particularly picky. In a stroke of luck, Tsao and team blew open the "black box" of facial recognition while working on a different problem: how to describe a face mathematically, with a matrix of numbers. In macaque monkeys with electrodes implanted into their brains, the team recorded from three "face patches"--brain areas that respond especially to faces--while showing the monkeys the computer-generated faces.
Starting in 2011, Mohseni, a bioengineer, and Nudo, a brain specialist, began exploring an idea for an electronic brain chip to treat traumatic brain injury. That's also been a problem for researchers developing devices that read the brains of paralyzed people and allow them to move robotic arms. The most widely employed, and sold by medical device giant Medtronic, is a "deep brain stimulator" able to stop the tremors of people with Parkinson's disease. More recently, a company called NeuroPace began selling the first "closed-loop" brain implant for epilepsy patients.
The neural lace could initially be used to study the brain mechanisms and treat disorders such as epilepsy or major depression. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has acquired Neuralink, a company aiming to establish a direct link between the mind and the computer. Bryan Johnson from human intelligence company Kernel recently acquired the MIT spin-off firm KRS, which is promising to make a data-driven revolution in understanding neurodegenerative diseases. The neural lace could initially be used to study the brain mechanisms and treat disorders such as epilepsy or major depression.
A new smartphone app called myCareCentric Epilepsy has been successfully piloted at Poole Hospital to help those with epilepsy and medical staff to monitor the condition. The drug used to treat epilepsy Trobalt, also called retigabine, will be discontinued and will no longer be available after June 2017. This comes after safety issues were announced in 2013 – the drug could cause skin to turn blue and result in problems with the eyes. As a result of these safety issues and the decline in new epilepsy patients being prescribed Trobalt, the decision was made to permanently discontinue the drug.