US Nuclear’s Grapheton Advancing Brain Probes to Treat Opioid Addiction
Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NEWMEDIAWIRE — USN’s partner Grapheton and Elon Musk’s Neuralink are both startups and both in the same neuroscience space. Neuralink is focused onthe big idea of directly linking brains to computers and the internet, whereas Grapheton’s customers are looking for treatments to mankind’s more immediate problems of addictions, pain and movement disorders, including the scourge of addiction to opioids and other substance abuse.
US Nuclear Corp. (OTC: UCLE) and Grapheton are teaming up to provide deep brain stimulation technology that can be used to treat severe addiction in patients who don’t respond to other methods. According to the CDC, about 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, and in a 2017 national survey on drug use and health, it was reported that 19.7 million American adults had a substance use disorder. Despite several clinical methods for treating addiction such as cognitive behavioral therapy, drug counseling, or medication-assisted treatments, there are patients who simply do not respond, and more than half will relapse within a year of treatment.
Fortunately, Grapheton’s deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology is being researched as an effective, long-term treatment for helping people with treatment-resistant addiction. Patients who undergo deep brain stimulation therapy have tiny electrodes surgically implanted in certain areas of the brain which are stimulated by pulses of electricity. The parameters of the stimulation are programmable and depend on the region of the brain, type of addiction, movement disorder pain, and patient response.
The U.S. FDA has already approved deep brain stimulation for treating Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor dystonia, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Small clinical studies have also been conducted for treating people addicted to nicotine, alcohol, and heroin, which reported that the subjects experienced reduced craving during abstinence, in addition to an improvement in depressive symptoms, mood, and anxiety. In November 2019, Dr. Rezai at the Western Virginia University, Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, announced the launch of a US clinical trial for using deep brain stimulation to treat opioid addiction.
Grapheton has propelled the treatment even further by developing groundbreaking improvements to their deep brain stimulation probes. Current probes from other providers only last 1-5 years before requiring surgery again. Grapheton has developed a new graphene polymer carbon-based electrode that doesn’t corrode and can last as long as 40 years or more before requiring surgery again. Furthermore, Grapheton also developed a new self-charging battery that uses the brain’s own electric salty liquid environment as the power source, negating the need for additional surgery to replace the batteries. Grapheton’s two-way electrical and chemical communication with the brain allows an effective, tailored approach and eliminates most of the current side-effects.
US Nuclear is excited by Grapheton’s potential contributions to help solve several challenging problems where the need is large and unfortunately growing every day.
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US Nuclear Corp. (OTC: UCLE)
Robert I. Goldstein, President, CEO, and Chairman
Rachel Boulds, Chief Financial Officer
(818) 883 7043
Drug addiction represents a significant public health concern that has high rates of relapse despite optimal medical therapy and rehabilitation support. New therapies are needed, and deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be an effective treatment. The past 15 years have seen numerous animal DBS studies for addiction to various drugs of abuse, with most reporting decreases in drug-seeking behavior with stimulation. The most common target for stimulation has been the nucleus accumbens, a key structure in the mesolimbic reward pathway. In addiction, the mesolimbic reward pathway undergoes a series of neuroplastic changes. Chief among them is a relative hypo-functioning of the prefrontal cortex, which is thought to lead to the diminished impulse control that is characteristic of drug addiction. The prefrontal cortex, as well as other targets involved in drug addiction such as the lateral habenula, hypothalamus, insula, and subthalamic nucleus have also been stimulated in animals, with encouraging results. Although animal studies have largely shown promising results, current DBS studies for drug addiction primarily use stimulation during active drug use. More data are needed on the effect of DBS during withdrawal in preventing future relapse. The published human experience for DBS for drug addiction is currently limited to several promising case series or case reports that are not controlled. Further animal and human work is needed to determine what role DBS can play in the treatment of drug addiction.