Despite the best efforts of the Departments of Defense and
DBS already exists as a therapy option for certain neurologic and neuropsychological illnesses in patients who are not responsive to other therapies. Approximately 100,000 people around the globe live with a DBS implant,3 a device that delivers electrical stimulation to reduce the motor impairment caused by Parkinson's disease and dystonia. These devices are also being studied as therapy for depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette's and epilepsy.
Despite recent advances, clinicians and researchers remain limited by the tools available to study, understand and treat systems of the brain. To achieve maximum benefit, clinicians are often forced to complete a slow, repetitive and imprecise cycle of observing behaviors and fine-tuning drug or behavioral therapy until the effects of a disease are reduced. The science has, to this point, been largely based on a century of identifying associations between features of complex behaviors and diffuse understanding of the brain.
SUBNETS seeks to move beyond this limited understanding to create new interventions based on new insights that can be gained from the intersection of neuroscience, neurotechnology and clinical therapy. While there is no question that brain activity, anatomy and behavior are functionally linked, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that many neural and behavioral processes are not localized to specific anatomical regions, but are emergent from systems that span several regions of the brain. SUBNETS will attempt to establish the capability to record and model how these systems function in both normal conditions, among volunteers4 seeking treatment for unrelated neurologic disorders, as well as among impaired clinical research participants.
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