18 Apr '17, 7pm

Treating Depression With Deep Brain Stimulation Works—Most of the Time -

Here are three things we know about deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for severe depression: 1. When the pacemaker-like brain implants do help depressed people, they get dramatically better. “I have patients who got their implants 10 years ago now,” says Helen Mayberg , a professor of psychiatry and neurology at Emory University and a leading researcher on DBS for depression. “These people get well and they stay well,” she says. 2. Unfortunately, they don’t help everybody. Experimental trials by Mayberg and others have consistently had a subset of people who simply don’t respond to the treatment. And two big industry-sponsored trials were counted as failures by the companies , squashing hopes that the treatment would soon be available for mainstream clinical use. 3. Researchers must figure out why some depressed patients respond to DBS while others don’t; otherwi...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/devices/...

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