This is a major breakthrough in dealing with mood disorders and mental illness…
Device sends a corrective electric pulse when it detects neural activity associated with irrational thoughts
The key discovery was a “biomarker” indicating the onset of depressive symptoms, a specific pattern of neural activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala that deals with responses to threats.
US researchers have successfully relieved a patient’s severe, long-term depression with an electronic implant that acts like a neural pacemaker, resetting the brain circuits associated with negative feelings. The team at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) said the study was “a landmark success” in the scientific effort to treat psychiatric disorders through carefully targeted neural electronics. The study is published in the Nature Medicine journal.
It’s only a single patient, but the team at the University of California San Francisco says it has seen remarkable results with the device, which is calibrated to detect the signals associated with depressive symptoms in the patient’s brain, and interfere with them.
“We’ve developed a precision medicine approach that has successfully managed our patient’s treatment-resistant depression by identifying and modulating the circuit in her brain that’s uniquely associated with her symptoms,” said Andrew Krystal, UCSF professor of psychiatry.
At a press teleconference ahead of the study’s publication, the 36-year-old patient, who asked just to be called Sarah, said the implant had transformed her life after five years of intense depression that would not respond to any drug combination or electroconvulsive therapy. “I felt tortured by suicidal thoughts every day,” she said. “I was at the end of the line.”
Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has recently become a routine treatment for epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease but has had limited success against depression, which affects 280m people globally according to the World Health Organization. As many as 30 per cent of depressed patients do not respond well to existing treatments.
Further research required but hope is on the horizon
“Nobody says to somebody with Parkinson’s ‘if you just have a positive attitude and bear up, you’ll cure yourself.’
Source/ References: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/04/health/depression-implant-treatment-wellness/index.html