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Depression treatment hopes as brain ‘implant’ success hailed

October 5, 2021

Scientists at the University of California San Francisco’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences have revealed promising results in the treatment of depression with a pioneering electrical implant that sits in the skull and is wired to the brain.

The device, which has been described as “the equivalent of a pacemaker for the brain”, is able to tap into the specific brain circuit involved in depressive brain patterns and reset them.

Researchers also believe the proof-of-concept study shows how brain activity could be used to deliver personalised treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders – including medical conditions that involve the mind and nervous system.

A statement from UCSF said: “UCSF Health physicians have successfully treated a patient with severe depression by tapping into the specific brain circuit involved in depressive brain patterns and resetting them using the equivalent of a pacemaker for the brain.

“The study, which appears in the Oct. 4, 2021, issue of Nature Medicine, represents a landmark success in the years-long effort to apply advances in neuroscience to the treatment of psychiatric disorders.”

Read the full report here

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