Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
A electronic device has been developed, with funding from the U.S. Army, that aims to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) by stimulating nerves on the tongue, according to Popular Science.
The device is called the Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator, PoNS. It was named after part of the brain stem, and it attempts to fix damaged neural connectors by stimulating nerves on the tongue to get them to send signals to the brain, Popular Science reported.
Battery-powered PoNS, developed by NeuroHabilitation, is targeted at TBI. It works by having the user bite down on its plate while doing up to a half hour “of physical and cognitive exercises tailored to the patient’s particular deficits,” Popular Science wrote.
The device then stimulates the tongue’s nerve endings to mimic the exercises, “hopefully allowing the brain to repair damaged neural connections,” Popular Science said.
The story says that patients have shown improvements following a week of daily sessions with the PoNS.