The US military is embarking on an ambitious project bordering on science fiction. To improve the performance of its soldiers, the institution wants to develop a helmet to improve their rest. It would be a device capable of optimizing the cleaning of the liquid surrounding the human brain during sleep.
A grant of nearly three million dollars
No, it’s not a science fiction movie. The US military does fund a helmet to “clean” the brains of soldiers while they sleep. This is a very serious project. The study is being conducted by engineers at Rice University in Texas, in collaboration with the Houston Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. For the first year alone, the research team responsible for designing the headset received a grant of $ 2.8 million, or approximately € 2.4 million.
This technology is expected to adjust the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is also known as cerebrospinal fluid. As a reminder, scientists discovered in 2012 that the fluid in question rids the brain of metabolic waste during sleep. For some people, sleep is often disrupted. Thus, the body does not always have time to cleanse and the cerebrospinal fluid remains polluted.
A helmet to treat certain diseases
The headset will also measure electrical activity with an electroencephalogram (EEG) and blood flow with a rheoencephalogram (REG), in addition to measuring fluid flow using ultrasound pulses. The data collected will be processed by machine learning algorithms. The headset will then work on the glymphatic system using transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) and low intensity focused ultrasound pulses (LIFUP).
According to scientists, the development of such technology will not only improve the performance of soldiers, but also treat certain diseases. ” Technologies that facilitate the removal of wastes and prevent their deposition in the brain are relevant for patients with sleep disorders, especially those exposed to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. “, Explained Fidaa Shaib, professor at Baylor.
For now, the project is still in its early stages. The team of researchers hopes to present the preliminary results of their work within a year.