Brain Implant Offers Hope for Severely Depressed

For about 10 percent of people with severe depression, no available treatments work — not anti-depressant medicines, not psychotherapy, not even electroshock therapy. But now a revolutionary treatment that entails brain surgery shows preliminary promise in treating intractable depression.

Called deep brain stimulation, the experimental surgery involves the implanting of electrodes deep inside the brain to produce a constant, weak electrical stimulation to a target area in the brain — called area 25 — that plays a critical role in depression. By aiming a mild but constant electrical pulse directly into area 25, researchers think they can “recalibrate” the area back to normal functioning.

After surgery, the electrodes are left in area 25 and a wire is threaded out of the skull, under the skin and to the front of the chest. A tiny power pack beneath the skin controls the low-voltage electrical stimulation to area 25, and can be adjusted externally by placing a controller — like a TV remote control — over it. It’s like a pacemaker for the depressed brain.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 May 2005
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
, . (2005). Brain Implant Offers Hope for Severely Depressed. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2005/05/12/brain-implant-offers-hope-for-severely-depressed/

 

Recent Comments
  • Pam: I disagree that it’s ok to have a crummy holiday experience. I lived in a small town after a divorce and...
  • Ann: I lose everything! I know the joy of finding things. However, I am tired, very tired. I wish I was not what I...
  • Josh: Great article, I could really use active conditioning on learning to control my emotions (I am known as a...
  • brokeandblue: I am someone that prides myself on being non-judgemental. At all. In fact I get complimented on this,...
  • Cathy Taughinbaugh: This is a wonderful list of blogs, which are so helpful to those suffering from anxiety. I wanted...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 13569
Join Us Now!