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Neuromodulation Delivery Systems
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

2.1.2Neuromodulation Delivery Systems

Experimental research is already using neurotechnologies and other delivery systems to modulate memory and other cognitive functions. As with brain monitoring, these fall into broad categories of invasive and non-invasive. Non-invasive technologies to modulate brain signals are transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).8 tDCS has been shown to enhance certain cognitive functions, such as episodic memory in older adults.9 Non-invasive technologies and focused ultrasound (FUS) could make it possible to remove unwanted memories. Invasive techniques for neuromodulation include optogenetics10 and deep brain stimulation11, which has been successful for Parkinson’s and is now in trials to rescue memory in Alzheimer’s disease. A third category blurs the line between invasive and non-invasive, and includes drugs and nanobot drug delivery systems to carry chemicals across the blood brain barrier.
Progress in this area rests on the development of closed-loop devices, which can read and decode brain signals, and respond by making decisions – often aided by AI — and then also engage stimulation in specific brain regions in order to override, dampen or amplify a faulty signal. The first commercial applications will likely be invasive devices that treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s, but closed-loop neuromodulation will eventually encompass invasive and non-invasive technologies.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Brain stimulation devices become more widely available for medical use

Within 2-3 years, 1000-channel electrode arrays like NeuroPixel are available for humans, allowing for simultaneous recording and stimulation in multiple regions across the brain.

Used in large clinical trials, these gather better data and accelerate the pace of discovery. High profile influencers – like gamers – start wearing noninvasive stimulating brain-machine interfaces to boost cognitive skills like reaction speed.

10-yearhorizon

Miniaturisation drives wider adoption of cognitive modulation

Closed loop devices stimulate and treat an increasing variety of diseases including depression and will also include, besides brain signals, a variety of other physiological, motor, perceptual, and cognitive signals acquired by wearables. The devices become wireless, driving early adoption by healthy people.

25-yearhorizon

The era of high-precision optogenetics arrives

Optogenetic manipulation and related new technologies target specific networks and types of human memory with high resolution and precision. This will create new, more granular molecular control mechanisms to manipulate neural activity at the level of single neurons, circuits, and larger networks, enabling more specific tailoring than today’s comparatively crude methods. The results could be implantation and control of patterns of memory and emotions.

Neuromodulation Delivery Systems - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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