Non Drug Treatments for Enhancement of Human Performance

Robert Asher, Sandia National Laboratories

Human performance enhancement may require modifications to the biochemical aspects of the human. Maintained alertness, enhanced physical and psychological performance, and enhanced survivability rates in serious operations all require modifications to the biochemical aspect of the human. DARPA is in the process of developing drugs to enhance performance when a person has been sleep-deprived. Drug companies spend an average of $800 million to develop new drugs that may have negative side effects. An alternative is to develop non-drug approaches to human performance enhancement. As an example, it is common medical practice to immerse a person in a hot bath preceding heart operations to build up stress proteins that will give greater survivability when s/he receives blood products.

Figure E.14. Wearable device for non-drug treatments.

Consider the use of externally applied, non-dangerous electromagnetic fields to increase the rate of production of body biochemicals that enhance human performance. DARPA has a proposal to increase the rate of stress protein production before a soldier goes into combat. The intent is to increase the survivability rate when the soldier is wounded and needs to receive blood products. Beyond that, one can envision increasing the rate of production of ATP, which will yield higher energy levels by natural means, will help ion pumping to aid in nerve recovery and contraction of muscles, and will speed recovery from combat stress. What other changes can be engineered by a specifically shaped electromagnetic pulse that might enhance human performance without pharmaceuticals? This investigation may spawn a new industry in which the human is enhanced by externally applied electromagnetic pulses so shaped so as to enhance specific biochemical changes within the body without drugs or in combination with drugs, with fewer side effects. For instance, nanoparticles might be formulated to release drug dosages only when irradiated with electromagnetic pulses focused at certain sites, allowing treatments to specific areas without the whole body being affected by the drug therapy.

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