Welcome to Cure Keeping. Brain implants are devices that are placed on or in the brain, and they do everything from helping with brain injury to improving quality of life in some diseases and conditions. But How does a brain implant work ? And how much do they cost? Keep reading to find out.
What is a brain implant?
A brain implant is any medical device implanted in your brain. The most common types of brain implants are deep brain stimulators, which treat disorders like Parkinson’s disease by delivering electrical pulses directly to areas of your brain that control movement.
Brain implants are used in a variety of situations — from helping those with paralysis regain muscle control to improving memory to treating depression — and can be placed in different parts of your brain depending on what condition they’re intended to treat.
The most commonly-implanted areas are deep within certain regions of your cerebral cortex, where many important functions (like memory or language) occur. There’s no one best location for an implant, but it may vary based on which disorder you have or what type of therapy you need.
What are their uses?
A brain implant is implanted into an individual’s brain to help them deal with medical conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or paralysis from stroke. Brain implants can be used for other conditions including hearing loss, depression, chronic pain, narcolepsy and more.
There are many different types of brain implants that each serve a different purpose in helping people overcome different conditions. The Brain Gate device uses electrical signals to activate paralyzed limbs; neural interfaces allow communication between computers and computers, while cortical electrodes allow researchers to measure activity in specific regions of your brain.
Brain implants are expensive devices that require extensive surgery by a trained physician but can vastly improve one’s quality of life depending on their condition.
How much do brain implants cost?
There are three main types of brain implants: Deep brain stimulation (DBS), neural prosthetics and vagus nerve stimulation. Depending on which one you have, costs vary greatly. For example, DBS surgeries can be as expensive as $150,000 to treat things like Parkinson’s disease.
On average, however, it usually costs around $45,000-$50,000 for each surgery. Neural prosthetics like cochlear implants are also pricey at about $200-600 per month over two years. Other options including cranial electrotherapy stimulators or vagus nerve stimulators cost closer to $2-$200 depending on where you get them from.
What is the effectiveness of Brain Implants?
Brain implants are among some of the most promising new devices in development for people living with chronic conditions, including depression, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. But due to limitations on clinical trials, their effectiveness is still not well understood. That said, there is strong anecdotal evidence from individuals who have benefited from brain implants.
If you live with a chronic condition that has left you feeling hopeless—or if you have lost someone to suicide—the reality of brain implants can be incredibly inspiring. A word of caution: Brain implants can be an expensive treatment option so should only be discussed with your medical professional or health insurance provider before moving forward.
For more information on brain implants see our write-up on what they are as well as an in-depth look at when to consider them .