Penn Team Awarded $22.5 Million to Develop Treatment for Memory Loss

July 10, 2014

A team of scientists and physicians at the University of Pennsylvania will lead a four-year effort worth as much as $22.5 million to develop next-generation technologies to restore memory function in people who suffer from memory loss due to disease or traumatic injury. The project, which is in support of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, will combine research on the basic mechanisms of memory function with the development of systems designed to electrically stimulate discrete regions of the brain.

“Biomarkers of good memory function will guide our ability to stimulate the brain to synthesize patterns of neural activity conducive to proper memory function,” Kahana says. “To accomplish this we must first map the neural mechanisms of human memory in both time and space. By deciphering the unique spatiotemporal maps of good memory function in each participant, we can determine how to use brain stimulation to gently coax brain activity out of dysfunctional states and towards optimal ones.”

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