Brain wave headset may help treat disorders

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Nov 29 2010 10:13 AM | Updated as of Nov 29 2010 09:25 PM

SAN JOSE, California – Lynda and Charlie Borromeo are thankful there’s an invention that could help their 11-year-old grandson, Julien, who suffers from mild autism.

The 3 visited the NeuroSky facility in San Jose, California recently to test a revolutionary technology that helps children and adults with disorders.

The NeuroSky headset, called MindWave, helps children like Julien calm down and focus on a particular object or goal for a period of time. Some experts call it the new way to read patterns of brain waves. The product determines one’s mental state and how attentive and relaxed the user is.

Jim Sullivan, Vice-President of NeuroSky, said, “We can read brain waves very simply using a dry censor and that’s what makes it revolutionary. It’s a very mobile solution.”

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NeuroSky said that for 60 years, doctors and scientists have used brain waves to help treat patients. In the past, machines recording the pattern of brain waves were only found in clinics and could cost at least $150 for a one-hour session.

NeuroSky’s chip, inserted in headsets, makes the science more affordable and accessible for people for a cost of $99 or about P4,000 a kit.

The kit includes applications and games to test concentration.

Glo Fularon is a Filipino-American entrepreneur who has invested in the product. Fularon said it’s a fun gadget that Pinoy kids would enjoy and learn from at the same time.

Fularon pointed out, “It’s cheaper compared to the X-Box and the Playstation. It’s a new technology that helps people with disabilities.”

NeuroSky officials said their products could help the medical community treat children with attention disorders and autism, adults with sleep problems and seniors with Alzheimer’s.

Its benefits prodded Fularon and other Filipino investors to bring NeuroSky’s product to the Philippines.

Borromeo, founder and chair of Autism Hearts Foundation, said that NeuroSky only has a brief effect on Julien, her grandson with mild autism. But nonetheless, she is hopeful that it would help children in the long run.

“Hopefully, they come up with a product that helps them on a long-term basis so researchers, doctors and scientists could really connect the disconnection in the brain.”

NeuroSky said the long-term benefits would come with practice and repeated use of the product.

Fularon and other Filipino investors plan to launch NeuroSky in the Philippines this December. They plan to partner with hospitals and schools all over the Philippines in an effort to maximize its exposure and impact on people who need it. Balitang America