DBS Can Keep Negative Feelings at Bay

DBS Can Keep Negative Feelings at BayThe Archives of General Psychiatry has recently published a research which revealed that deep brain stimulation could help a person steer clear of depression for at least two years. Three researchers conducted the study, namely psychiatry professor Dr. Helen Mayberg, Toronto-based neurosurgeon Dr. Andres Lozano and psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Kennedy.

In order to reach the conclusion, they enrolled 17 patients who have already tried different measures to reset their brain. All the patients had bipolar II condition, in which a person suffers mild forms of mania.

Mayberg said she found one area in the brain which responds maximum to negative feelings and it was judged as Area 25. If one thinks of worst fear, accident or any loss then this area is found to be getting enlarged.

So, they knew that in the research they have to focus on this portion to derived desired results. In order to conduct deep brain stimulation, they implanted thin wires on both the sides of the brain through small incision in brain.

After that, the patient's skull was placed at head frame which were attached to the operating table. They were given anesthesia and electrodes were switched on. It was found that deep brain stimulation was effective in 70% of the people. After the procedure, the patient came to them to say that he was feeling better.

The researchers said that when they called up all the patients who underwent surgery. They found that 41% patients said they have experienced effective improvements. Mayberg said, "We seem to be removing that deep, dark negative empty sadness - that interference that is so profound that it totally hijacks your brain from doing anything else".

The researchers said that further research is still needed to be done in this regard. They have just given a demo on how DBS could be so effective in providing relief from depression. Other experts are of the view that DBS contains risk of causing brain hemorrhage, stroke and seizures.