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..."
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.
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 […]
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]