MAR 19, 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Brain Computer Interfaces: Neurotech in the Future of Neuroscience

Presented At Neuroscience
  • Founder and CEO, Think Interfaces, Inc.
      Dr. Morrow earned a doctorate degree in cognitive neuroscience from La Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, and went on to train at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City at the invitation of professor Melvin Yahr. While working at the neurology department of Mount Sinai, she conducted studies using EEG-based brain mapping techniques with Parkinsons patients. Afterwards she received further education and training in Clinical Neuropsychology under Dr. Yaakov Stern at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. As a Clinical Neuropsychologist, she has over 20 years experience assessing and treating adults and children with various learning and neurological issues, specializing in the treatment of learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and the differential diagnosis of complex brain disorders. As a neuroscientist, she used visual evoked potentials and other neuroimaging modalities to study brain functioning, completing successful research collaborations with major universities in Europe and the United States. Most recently, Dr. Morrow developed a dry electrode wireless EEG headset and brain-computer interface that incorporates advancements from different branches of science and technology. Dr. Morrows vision is to help improve the quality of life for children and adults using simple, non-invasive systems. One of her companies, THINK Interfaces, Inc., was created to provide patients with non-invasive, non-pharmacological methods for the diagnosis and remediation of patients with ADD/ADHD, Parkinsons Disease, Alzheimers Disease, and age-related cognitive capacity, memory and focus deficits. Her system is currently in clinical trials on children with ADD/ADHD. Dr. Morrow collaborates with top scientists and engineers from leading universities around the world with the aim of conducting multidisciplinary clinical research and the development of hardware and software products for the purpose of delivering tangible benefits to millions around the globe.


    When speaking of neurodegenerative diseases, average public is not made aware of the true cost that brain related disorders have on annual budget. The true impact on economy is not usually the direct cost of healthcare, but rather, loss of daily productivity, of not only the primary person affected, but also of the caretakers and family. Primary caretaker functions like a manager for the case. He or she loses days of work because of caretakers needs and involvement. Secondary impact on the case is anxiety and depression ensuing the illness, not only present in the primary patient, but also in family members. This further decreases productivity on the global scale. Thomas Insel, the director of NIMH suggested three approaches to estimate global economic burden: (a) a standard cost of illness method, (b) macroeconomic simulation, and (c) the value of a statistical life. The results of all three methods project staggering costs over the next two decades, with cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, and mental health representing a cumulative output loss of $47 Trillions, roughly 75% of the global GDP in 2010. Over 2 billion people suffer from brain-based related productivity loss, which translates into a 2 trillion economic burden. One approach is to find innovative ways to prevent and treat diseases in a more economically feasible ways: neurotechnology and biotechnology of healthcare.

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