California-based Inner Cosmos has successfully developed and implanted a penny-sized brain chip in a patient to cure depression and will be starting the 2nd human trial in February. As per Inner Cosmos, depression could soon be treated using the “digital pill” as a brain implantation that delivers electrical pulses to the regions of the brain affected by mental illness.
CEO of Inner Cosmos, Meron Gribetz, was diagnosed with ADHD at age 10. The diagnosis was the reason for his interest in neuroscience. He said, “The world is in a state of severe disorder, and the effects are being felt by millions leading to surging levels of depression.”
The Inner Cosmos brain chip has two parts: an electrode and an external prescription pod. The electrode is implanted under the scalp, and a prescription pod is attached to the head to power the device. In March 2022, the company gained permission from the US Food and Drug Administration to carry out patient trials with their technology.
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A fairly simple outpatient operation can implant the tiny electrode into the cranium, and the procedure only takes 30 minutes. The implant targets the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for 15 minutes each day, the part of the brain responsible for processes like working memory, abstract reasoning, and motor skills.
The second human trial, if successful, can pave the way for more advanced treatments in neurosciences.