Wiring the brain, literally, to treat stubborn disorders

January 19, 2012 | Source: Wall Street Journal

Deep brain stimulation surgery (credit: Thomasbg/Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers are now using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for psychiatric conditions.

After two years of DBS, 92% reported significant relief from their major depression or bipolar disorder and more than half were in remission, with no manic side effects.

Other clinical trials are studying DBS as a treatment for epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder; some researchers are experimenting with it for Alzheimer’s disease, tinnitus, addiction and Tourette syndrome, a condition that causes sudden movements and tics.

DBS has helped halt tremors in more than 100,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.