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October 26, 2013

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announces the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) program for competitive grants.  The grants encourage developing concurrent brain stimulation and monitoring technologies that treat and monitor a variety of brain illnesses.  Targets of the grant are  traumatic brain injury (TBI), post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse, addiction, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. Technologies are sought that restore brain function through multi-region recording and stimulation, whereby neural dysfunction, associated with behavioral abnormalities, can be observed and an intervention through neural actuation is applied. DARPA wishes to promote research on technologies that create closed-loop diagnostic and therapeutic systems. These technologies can lead to better modeling and understanding of the relationship between neural systems and behavior, as well as better therapies for brain diseases.  Cervoe sees overlap of these goals with its own commitment to promote research in non-invasive transcranial direct current as well as magnetic brain stimulation (tDCS and TMS).  A desired closed-loop diagnostic and therapeutic system is created when such non-invasive techniques are paired with newer gadolinium functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging techniques that assess blood brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction in TBI and neurodegenerative diseases.

For access to the 49 page DARPA announcement describing SUBNETS as a pdf file go to:

For more on gadolinium fMRI assessment of the BBB function, go to the Chassidim et al. article that recently appeared in Fluids and Barriers of the CNS titled “Quantitative imaging assessment of blood-brain barrier permeability in humans.”  This article is found at:

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