It is estimated that every year in the United States alone 1.7 million of people suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to accidents and other reasons. TBI frequently results in difficulties to retrieve memories from before the injury and to retain new memories following the injury.

Despite the scale of the problem, few effective therapies exist, which is why DARPA launched the Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. The goal is to develop neuroprosthetics capable of repairing the injured brain.

The end goal of RAM is to develop and test a wireless, fully implantable neural-interface for human clinical use. The road to that goal is long and windy and passes through several intermediate goals.

The first stop is the development of multi-scale computational models with high spatial and temporal resolution that describe how neurons store declarative memories. Researchers will also try to understand how targeted stimulation might be applied to help the brain reestablish an ability to store memories.

Building on this foundational work, researchers will attempt to integrate the computational models developed under RAM into new, implantable, closed-loop systems able to deliver targeted neural stimulation that may ultimately help restore memory function.

For those who want to know everything: RAM is part of Obama's BRAIN initiative.