An electrical implant that sits in the skull and is wired to the brain can detect and treat severe depression, US scientists from University of California, San Francisco, found. The innovation was made possible by locating the “depression circuits”in the brain. Researchers in the experimental study observed a hard to treat case and obtained good results. “My daily life had become so restricted. I felt tortured each day. I barely moved or did anything,” that patient, a woman,Sarah, described before experiment. The surgery involved drilling small holes in her skull to fit the wires that would monitor and stimulate her brain. A box containing the battery and the pulse generator was tucked into the bone, beneath her scalp and hair. And what ? When the implant was first turned on, my life took an immediate upward turn. My life was pleasant again,” Sarah said. No side-effects were detected.
“It’s really just the first demonstration of this working in someone and we have a lot of work ahead of us as a field to validate these results to see if this actually is something that will be enduring as a treatment option”, Dr Edward Chang, the neurosurgeon who fitted the device, said. In fact, a new direction for research was established.The scientists say a lot more research is needed to test the experimental therapy. More patients were recruited.