Army Backs a Cap That Will Monitor Brain-Cleaning Process
written by/ October 16, 2021
The US Army is investing in the performance of their troops by financing an unusual project: a sleep-monitoring device in the shape of a cap that will track and assist in the brain cleaning processes in soldiers.
Namely, the brainchild of the engineers at the NeuroEngineering Initiative at Rice University is supposed to monitor the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid during sleep: a process more commonly known as brain-cleaning.
During this physiological process, the waste metabolic products formed during the brain’s daily activity are transported out of the brain and into the bloodstream to get eliminated.
So, why is this so important? What does the cleaning process show?
Simply, how well recruits will perform their daily tasks when they wake up. What’s more, inefficient cleaning means a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
The sleeping cap is yet to be developed by:
- The engineering team at the NeuroEngineering Initiative at Rice University
- The Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB)
- physicians at Houston Methodist Hospital and
- physicians at Baylor College of Medicine
This is why the project was backed by the Army’s Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP). The official announcement made by the University even features a diagram showing how this device will look.
The design features a sort of eye frame, a headband-like metal fitting several sensors on the forehead and at the back of the head. Together with other specially designed hardware and software, these sensors will show the efficiency of the soldier’s brain cleaning process during sleep.
But that’s not all! The brain-cleaning cap will also be able to modulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in a non-invasive way!
Finally, this portable mini MRI will also show the efficacy of certain sleep aids like, for example, melatonin supplements or one of the OTC sleep aids used by the soldiers.