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Depression treatment hopes as brain ‘implant’ success hailed


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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