Brain Pacemaker Used to Treat Depression

Brain pacemakers improve the rhythm of the brain

Two of the largest and longest studies so far show a “brain pacemaker” can effectively treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), researchers said.

Devices implanted in the chest, with leads that send electrical impulses to parts of the brain, have already been approved to treat movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia.

Dr Ali Rezai, head of neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic, who led the studies, said the technique known as deep brain stimulation helped the most severely depressed patients improve significantly. Researchers from Butler Hospital Brown Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School were also involved in the depression study.

Seventeen patients, diagnosed as having major depressive disorder, were followed for a year and demonstrated overall improvement in mood as well as social and occupational functioning, he said.

Via Times of India