Pharmaceutical companies have reduced their investment in developing new psychiatric drugs as neuroscience increasingly focuses on the electrical activity of neural networks as a key to understanding and treating mental illness. For example, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health is investigating how brain circuitry contributes to depression and schizophrenia, and Medtronic has pioneered deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and addiction. The emerging field of optogenetics injects neurons with light-sensitive proteins for more precise treatments.

Related Summaries