If you were curious about how "they" should convince us, we need all brain implants, look no further. According to…
If you were curious about how “they” should convince us, we need all brain implants, look no further. According to a new study, the units can prove beneficial in the treatment of depression, and who has not been depressed?
More common but still poorly understood, depression is a modern mental plague that affects 300 million people worldwide every year. Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco believe they have found a new way of treating the condition using deep brain stimulation (DBS). Currently used to treat Parkinson’s and epilepsy, DBS involves implanting electrodes in specific parts of the brain and delivering controlled doses of electricity through a pacemaker-like device. The impulses are supposed to restore a healthy electrical pattern that relieves the patient’s symptoms.
Previous attempts to use DBS to treat depression had mixed results, sometimes catapulting depressed patients to mania or even make them more depressed, but the UC team was resented on orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) – unknown neurological territory that benefited both for its role in emotional treatment and its abundant relationship with other parts of the brain involved in emotional regulation.
Given the availability of a small group of epileptics who already had electrodes implanted in different parts of their brains to determine seizures – a hyperspecialized population, which means that their results are unlikely to be replicated at any time soon – the researchers stimulated different brain regions over a period of several days, sometimes switching a ” sham stimulation ” to act as a check.
Subsequently questions were asked about their mood. Depressed subjects were consistently happier after OFC stimulation in a manner that non-depressed individuals were not, and the effect did not occur after shame stimulation. Unlike previous DBS experiments, the positive mood naturally showed – how the subjects behaved and how their brainwaves looked at an EEG.
The results of the study, published in Current Biology, provide a much needed boost for the difficult DBS-depression-treatment paradigm, which suffered a major blow after a major 2013 trial, interrupted to produce poor results. Other attempts ended more ambiguously with temporary irregular improvements, but the results of this attempt have encouraged the team to continue the OFC as a depression site.
Depression is notoriously resistant to treatment and current drug-based therapies fail many patients. Surprisingly little is known about the mental circuit that is responsible for depression. Serotonin-obalan theory has been recurring, but effective marketing means that 13 percent of Americans continue to take antidepressant dependents.
The researchers acknowledge that little is known about how exactly DBS produces ” complex behavioral changes ” seen in its study, but what is the harm in trying to make the news tech more common? Oh, right … Just last month, cyber security experts warned about the vulnerability of neural implant technologies that potentially expose human brain, opening a whole new era of brain hacking, identity theft and memory black market.
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