No, we're not talking shock therapy. Researchers at the University of Toronto installed deep brain stimulating electrodes in 20 patients with severe depression who weren't helped by other means. Twelve of those individuals saw big improvement and seven experiences a "full remission." The electrodes stimulated a region of the brain called the subcallosal cingulated gyrus. Other centers around the world are running similar studies but zapping different parts of the brain.
“In the meantime we need to know why some of the patients don’t respond at all,” says (researcher Helen) Mayberg. “Are we missing the target, or are there different subtypes of the disease?” Her team is now trying to find out how to identify those who will respond to DBS, and those who won’t. “Brain surgery is not like getting your nails done, so it is important to try to find out who will benefit..." Deep brain stimulation for depression (Nature)
Neurologists think that the therapy works by activating or damping down particular brain circuits. At the moment, no-one knows which of the targets within these circuits will eventually prove to be the most optimal...
The centres are also investigating the value of DBS in other psychiatric disturbances, such as obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]