Deep Brain Stimulation Implants can Help with Severe Depression

Depression is rampant in the modern society. It affects 300 million people worldwide according to WHO. And doctors search for methods to cure this disease without any avail. But recently regulators in the United States found the deep brain stimulation implants can help with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder and essential tremors.

The implants contain wires that run into the brain and a stimulator in the chest or abdomen. And the developers like to call the stimulator as a pacemaker. It is important to plant the wires in the correct part of the brain. For example, if they implant a stimulator for Parkinson’s disease then it is placed in the part of the brain that controls movement.

The subcallosal cingulate (SCC) is allegedly the part of the brain that deals with depression. And that’s what Dr. Helen S. Mayberg and her team of experts found. She is a professor of neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine.

Their research found that deep brain stimulation of the SCC helped people with severe depression. Mayberg and her team found that the stimulator did not work right away. But when they stayed the course and followed the process for a long time they saw results. After 8 years of observation, most of the participants of the study experienced an antidepressant response. And this response wasn’t fleeting but it stayed.

The study had over 28 participants out of which 20 suffered from depression and 8 had bipolar disorder. After 8 years under observation of using the stimulator the response rates were at and above 50%. This is positive result which opens ways of treatment for depression.

Mayberg and her team finally found a long term way of encountering depression.

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