Story 2014-09-16 2SFB DARPA develops tiny implants that treat diseases and depression without medication

DARPA develops tiny implants that treat diseases and depression without medication

in science on (#2SFB)
story imageSo, how y'all feeling? We can fix that.

DARPA, on the back of the US government’s BRAIN program, has begun the development of tiny electronic implants that interface directly with your nervous system and can directly control and regulate many different diseases and chronic conditions, such as arthritis, PTSD, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease), and depression. The program, called ElectRx (pronounced ‘electrics’), ultimately aims to replace medication with “closed-loop” neural implants, which constantly assess the state of your health, and then provide the necessary nerve stimulation to keep your various organs and biological systems functioning properly.

The old joke is that there's no need to study biology since eventually it's all just chemistry anyway. But maybe behind the chemistry it's actually all just electrical? If that's the case, I'd like a USB port wired in, please.
Reply 11 comments

I would get this (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-17 04:23 (#2SG0)

but I am too depresser to so so

Re: I would get this (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-17 11:19 (#2SGJ)

And you might want to stay away from the alcohol.

Electrical (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-09-17 10:42 (#2SGC)

It occurs to me this would be a pretty good plot/subject for a science fiction movie - some kind of obligatorily-worn mood changer. The risk of abuse is obvious too: imagine a totalitarian society that has dealt with the problem of pedophilia/etc by making anyone convicted of it wear the helmet that dulls that urge by electrically stimulating some nerve center in the brain. What would those helmet wearers do? What would that say about society? Repeat for other crimes - thought crime, etc.

That's a great story; I think I'll write it.

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-17 11:25 (#2SGK)

While the thought of totalitarian society is scary and deplorable, some people who do terrible things compulsively actually realize they are terrible things, don't want to do said things, but can't fight the urge. They may welcome a device which helps them alleviate the desire to commit those acts. IF these things were developed and used without abuse, they might not be so bad.

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-17 11:28 (#2SGM)

Fair enough - wearing the helmet can be part of your fight to remain in society - voluntary helmet wearers.

Re: Electrical (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-17 11:41 (#2SGN)

Could it be used to treat OCD, I wonder.

Re: Electrical (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-17 14:07 (#2SGZ)

C.D.O. - Get the order right son

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-17 20:21 (#2SHE)

That's not Sci-Fi, it has been standard operating procedure for the past half-century. Convicted rapists in many situations (depending on jurisdiction) have been required to take pills or injections that reduce sexual urges, as a condition of their parole for many years. It has been happening in the US since 1966, and is law in several states. In Europe, Alan Turing chose that punishment for his homosexuality, rather than jail time, back in 1952:

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-17 20:45 (#2SHH)

I'm aware of the pills and chemical castration and the like. But having to submit to some sort of device that modifies your brainwaves/urges on behalf of the State? That's just pure evil.

Re: Electrical (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-18 09:36 (#2SJ3)

How evil is it compared to more people being raped? Or cutting off the.penis? Or imprisonment? Or... what?

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-18 19:46 (#2SK2)

I would be very careful about that line of thinking... The current, ever-expanding definition of the term "sex offender" should be all the cautionary tale you would need.

Remember, if a woman regrets having sex with you, even a week later, the feminazis want you punished like any other rapist. THAT'S NOT AN EXAGGERATION. That has been instituted on several college campuses recently, and that's how we get so many mainstream news stories claiming women have a 1 in 4 chance of being raped, when the actual number is around 8%.

Right now, a teenager having sex with his slightly under-aged girlfriend can result in serving jail-time, and being a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, nearly unemployable and almost certainly homeless (since almost everywhere is too close to a school) for the rest of his life, under current laws.

Even an under-aged girl sending nude photos to her under-aged boyfriend, and him responding in kind, results in the boy getting prosecuted for producing child porn (of himself):

With current laws so completely ridiculous one-sided and extremely heavy-handed, I have no faith at all that newer technology would be used properly. Instead, you could end up with the entire male population forced to get such implants.