Opinion: Applied neuroscience needs a task force to craft effective governance

While applied neuroscience holds tremendous promise for treating people with various conditions, it also raises longer-term concerns about potential intrusions into privacy, autonomy, and freedom.

In the United States alone, more than 100 million people are affected by at least one neurological disease. These conditions, which range from Alzheimer’s disease to depression and Parkinson’s disease, cost the health care system almost $800 billion per year. The toll is far higher if you add in the almost unquantifiable financial and emotional costs of diminished quality of life and caretaking.

While the brain has historically been difficult to study directly, applied neuroscience is on the verge of transformative breakthroughs that could provide enormous benefits — as well as harms.

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