Antidepressant brain pacemakers!

United States
May 29, 2008 10:24am CST
They are developing brain pacemakers that act as an antidepressant by changing how someone's nerve circuitry works. They already use such devices to block the tremors of Parkinson's disease and for other things, and they work very well.. But psychiatric illnesses are pretty complex (to say nothing of the brain) and the experiments with "deep brain stimulation" or "DBS" are a new thing. Only a few dozen patients with severe depression or severe obsessive-compulsive disorder so far have been treated (and closely monitored). But the early results are said to be promising. One dramatic video, they're saying, shows a patient visibly brightening as doctors turn on her brain pacemaker and then she says in surprise: - "I'm starting to smile.'' (Imagine never smiling. This could be a miracle for some! Especially as the meds always come with side effects!) Some worst-case patients, the report says, whose depression wasn't relieved by medication, psychotherapy, even controversial shock treatment, are finding lasting relief! Wow! Have you heard of this? Do you know someone who battles with painful depression? Did you know they still use shock-treatment!!? (I didn't!)
1 response
• United States
29 May 08
Frankly, I am not for this. First..even the pill anti-depressants only work well for those who have severe depressions, so those wiht mild or moderate ones that take them are wasting their time. Also, it's known, even among the psychiatric community, that depressions are often totally cleared up within a year even without any treatment. Most depressions a situational-or coming form being unhappy about life or a particular situation, so medicines wil not work anyway. The best thing to do is think through your life and change what you are unhapppy about and stop depending on chemicals for a quick fix, which you wouldn't get in that case anyway. In terms of these "pacemakers,'if it can be proven by an EEG or a chemical anaylisis that the brain chemicals or electricity IS the trie cause, then fine? But since to many M.D.'s never do these tests and just hand out stuff woithout caring what the true cause of the depression is, them I do not feel that these should be used. It sounds like another way for the FDA and science community to make BIG bucks off of another thing that probably will not work or could possibly even cause neuroligical/electrical bain damage. I would NOT let them implant one in me..but that is my own feel for it.
1 person likes this