Experimental Brain Implants Found to Help Treat Severe Depression
(Photo : Image from Unsplash Website) Experimental Brain Implants Found to Help Treat Severe Depression

A new experimental brain implant was found to be effective in the treatment of severe depression. Sarah, a person suffering from severe depression for over five years, said she tried all possible treatments, but nothing helped until she decided to go through an experimental procedure.

Sarah Decided to Try an Experimental Brain Implant

According to the story by The Verge, the 36-year old Sarah had a device implanted into her brain and felt the depression lift for the first time in years. Sarah was reportedly a patient of a certain proof-of-concept trial of a brand new approach towards treating severe treatment-resistant depression.

The journal Nature Medicine just recently published a post sharing that the findings opened up yet another possible strategy to help people suffering from the disorder. The study reportedly only involved Sarah and is also not clear as to how it could work for other people. 

Researchers were Able to Study the Trial

The lessons coming from the trial helped researchers be able to understand more regarding the nature of depression and how they could apply other efforts in order to treat the disease. The trial actually used a technique that is known as deep brain stimulation. Research has also found that heavy smartphone use can actually lead to depression and anxiety.

Deep brain stimulation is where electrodes that are implanted within the brain deliver electrical impulses to attempt to change or regulate certain abnormal brain activity. This is common for certain conditions, just like Parkinson's disease or epilepsy.

Research on Depression

Research over the last few decades showed that it could help with depression. The findings, however, have remained inconsistent, according to TheAtlantic. Most previous efforts were able to deliver stimulation to individual regions, as explained on NCBI, of a person's brain that is thought to be involved in depression.

The study was targeted at regions that were reportedly part of certain brain circuits that interconnected certain parts of the brain that are responsible for particular functions. The procedure turned out highly effective for Sarah.

Read Also: Smartphones Might One Day Be Used To Help Diagnose Depression

Sarah's Depression Rating Scores Dropped

Her depression rating scores dropped the exact morning after the device was turned on. More importantly, she also described a dramatic change in her mood. During the first period of getting the stimulation, she actually laughed out really loud in the lab.

Sarah's very own depression circuit flares up about hundreds of times a day, and during each time, the implanted device is capable of delivering a brief stimulating pulse. She reportedly gets around 30 million stimulations every day.

Sarah is not able to feel the pulses, but she actually noted that she does have quite a general idea of when they happen throughout the given day. She noted that there is a certain sense of alertness and energy of positivity that she feels. Studies have previously found that more physical activity can actually help prevent depression and result in a positive change.

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Written by Urian B.

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