Surgery for Depression? Yup.
Deep brain stimulation, used for years to fight Parkinson's, is spreading out
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 8:35 AM CDT
An X-Ray image of a patient with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) leads implanted.    (AP Photo/Cleveland Clinic)
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(Newser) – A type of brain surgery previously used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be effective in countering the debilitating effects of deep depression, CNN reports. A new study shows that deep brain stimulation, a process in which electrodes are inserted into problem areas in the brain and hooked up to a power source, can decrease symptoms of depression up to 50%.

Scientists think that jolts from the “brain pacemaker” may disrupt abnormal brain activity and allow patients to live more normal lives. The treatment appears to produce fewer detrimental side effects than another stand-by treatment, electroshock therapy. Although even conservative practitioners are abuzz over the possibilities of DBS, researchers admit that its widespread use in depression treatment is years away.