Scientist Interview: Implanted Electrodes Reboot... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch
Scientist Interview: Implanted Electrodes Reboot Brain Out of Intractable Depression
Psychological depression is more than an emotional state. Good evidence for that comes from emerging new uses for a  technology already widely prescribed for Parkinson’s patients. The more neurologists and surgeons learn about the aptly named deep brain stimulation, the more they are convinced that the currents from the technology’s implanted electrodes can literally reboot brain circuits involved with the mood disorder. Thomas Schlaepfer, a psychiatrist from the University of Bonn Hospital and  a leading expert in researching deep brain stimulation, describes in the interview that follows the workings of the technique and why it may help the severely depressed.
Can you explain what deep brain stimulation is and what it is currently used for?
Deep brain stimulation refers to the implantation of very small electrodes in both hemispheres of the brain, which are connected to a neurostimulator, usually placed under the skin on the right chest. This device is in size and function very similar to a heart pacemaker. It allows stimulations of different pulse width and frequency. Depending on the chosen stimulation parameters the electrodes in the brain are able to “neuromodulate” –to reversibly alter the function – of the surrounding brain tissue. Deep brain stimulation has gained widespread acceptance as a successful treatment for tremor associated with Parkinson’s disease. More than 80,000 patients worldwide have been treated with this method. Some see deep brain stimulation as a much less invasive and fully reversibly alternative to historical neurosurgical interventions, which require tiny amounts of brain tissue to be destroyed in order to have clinical effects.
2. Are there other possible uses for the technology?
Further neurological indications that are either already clinically used or under research are essential tremor, primary dystonia, treatment resistant cluster headache and certain other pain syndromes. Deep brain stimulation has only recently, in the last decade, been actively researched as a putative treatment for very treatment resistant psychiatric disorders. Since 1999, data on DBS treatment in patients with refractory obsessive- compulsive disorder have been published as small case series or case reports. Five research groups from Europe and the United States reported individual case studies on OCD. Overall there seems to be a very positive efficacy signal in this patient group. In the same time frame three groups started to actively look at the efficacy of deep brain stimulation in three different targets—the subcallosal cingulate cortex, the anterior limb of the capsula interna and  the nucleus accumbens—have been published. Interestingly the overall response rate of 50 to 60 percent  (response is defined as a decrease of at  least 50 percent in from the  baseline depression score) has been reported, a surprisingly high rate given the extreme treatment resistance of these patients, who underwent up to 60 courses of psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and psychopharmacology.
read more 

Scientist Interview: Implanted Electrodes Reboot Brain Out of Intractable Depression


Psychological depression is more than an emotional state. Good evidence for that comes from emerging new uses for a  technology already widely prescribed for Parkinson’s patients. The more neurologists and surgeons learn about the aptly named deep brain stimulation, the more they are convinced that the currents from the technology’s implanted electrodes can literally reboot brain circuits involved with the mood disorder. Thomas Schlaepfer, a psychiatrist from the University of Bonn Hospital and  a leading expert in researching deep brain stimulation, describes in the interview that follows the workings of the technique and why it may help the severely depressed.

Can you explain what deep brain stimulation is and what it is currently used for?

Deep brain stimulation refers to the implantation of very small electrodes in both hemispheres of the brain, which are connected to a neurostimulator, usually placed under the skin on the right chest. This device is in size and function very similar to a heart pacemaker. It allows stimulations of different pulse width and frequency. Depending on the chosen stimulation parameters the electrodes in the brain are able to “neuromodulate” –to reversibly alter the function – of the surrounding brain tissue. Deep brain stimulation has gained widespread acceptance as a successful treatment for tremor associated with Parkinson’s disease. More than 80,000 patients worldwide have been treated with this method. Some see deep brain stimulation as a much less invasive and fully reversibly alternative to historical neurosurgical interventions, which require tiny amounts of brain tissue to be destroyed in order to have clinical effects.

2. Are there other possible uses for the technology?

Further neurological indications that are either already clinically used or under research are essential tremor, primary dystonia, treatment resistant cluster headache and certain other pain syndromes. Deep brain stimulation has only recently, in the last decade, been actively researched as a putative treatment for very treatment resistant psychiatric disorders. Since 1999, data on DBS treatment in patients with refractory obsessive- compulsive disorder have been published as small case series or case reports. Five research groups from Europe and the United States reported individual case studies on OCD. Overall there seems to be a very positive efficacy signal in this patient group. In the same time frame three groups started to actively look at the efficacy of deep brain stimulation in three different targets—the subcallosal cingulate cortex, the anterior limb of the capsula interna and  the nucleus accumbens—have been published. Interestingly the overall response rate of 50 to 60 percent  (response is defined as a decrease of at  least 50 percent in from the  baseline depression score) has been reported, a surprisingly high rate given the extreme treatment resistance of these patients, who underwent up to 60 courses of psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and psychopharmacology.

read more 

  1. sigg7 reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove and added:
    Wow, 80,000 human being guinea pigs hv been put thru all this so far…
  2. rydkydktf reblogged this from ah-thenah
  3. ah-thenah reblogged this from sagansense
  4. contaminatedbreastcheese reblogged this from sagansense
  5. seawallglen reblogged this from sagansense
  6. octagonperfectionist reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  7. autisticrevolutionary reblogged this from sagansense
  8. intrinsicminds reblogged this from sagansense
  9. the-vile-inn reblogged this from sagansense
  10. expandmymindnow reblogged this from sagansense
  11. xladyfoxx reblogged this from sagansense
  12. rei-sensei reblogged this from sagansense
  13. nicotine-aspartame reblogged this from sagansense
  14. sagansense reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove and added:
    via scienceyoucanlove
  15. 1ofthecurious reblogged this from fyeahmedlab
  16. doctor-caos reblogged this from fyeahmedlab
  17. tekknoarchive reblogged this from fyeahmedlab
  18. darkpixie10 reblogged this from fyeahmedlab
  19. fyeahmedlab reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  20. questionsalwaysquestions reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  21. theotheralicetumbles reblogged this from lipstickmermaid and added:
    My sister once asked why anyone would want to have brain surgery to treat depression. Yeah. I really want brain surgery...
  22. gettoknowmebeforeyoujudgeme23 reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove