USAF and Rio Grande Neurosciences to develop new brain stimulation techniques

21 December 2016 (Last Updated December 21st, 2016 18:30)

The US Air Force (USAF) 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW) and Rio Grande Neurosciences of Albuquerque have reached a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop new technologies for transcranial stimulation.

The US Air Force (USAF) 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW) and Rio Grande Neurosciences of Albuquerque have reached a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop new technologies for transcranial stimulation.

The CRADA was signed to support transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) by providing new brain stimulation methods.

The collaboration will involve development and evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation, tDCS paradigms, and transcranial alternating current stimulation.

Under the agreement, the 711th HPW will use Rio Grande Neurosciences devices to conduct tests on 36 recruited participants.

"This allows us to receive valuable product feedback from a research team whose input will be very beneficial to what we do."

Rio Grande Neurosciences senior scientist Dr Michael Weisend said: “This CRADA allows us to receive valuable product feedback from a research team who we have great respect for and whose input will be very beneficial to what we do.”

In addition, the USAF researchers will examine similar methods developed by Rio Grande Neurosciences cleared by the US Federal Drug Administration.

Rio Grande has improved tDCS electrode designs and technology, making application easier and more comfortable for the user.

Similar to tDCS, pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) are believed to change brain activity by modulating the excitability of brain tissues. Using pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) do not require conductive gels or solutions.

To date, PEMF technology has been used to aid in healing wounds, but this CRADA will extend its use as a neuromodulation technique.