Brain Stimulation Via Earbuds: Unobtrusive Technology Could Treat a Variety of Diseases

Post Syndicated from Emily Waltz original https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/devices/earbuds-electrically-stimulate-the-nervous-system-to-treat-rheumatoid-arthritis

They look like regular earbuds, but these headphones don’t play music, or produce any kind of sound. Instead, they produce electrical fields designed to treat disease.

By delivering electrical pulses to a nerve in the outer ear, the device hacks into neural circuits in the brain in a way that could regulate inflammation and treat rheumatoid arthritis. 

That’s the hope, anyway, of researchers at the start-up Nēsos, which launched out of stealth mode today. “We’re still at the early stages of development,” says Konstantinos Alataris, co-founder and CEO of the company. “We’re developing this as a prescription product and testing it in clinical trials.” 

And arthritis is just the first application that the startup is pursuing. If Nēsos has found an effective way to hack into the brain, the earbuds could help with a range of neurological and psychiatric diseases.