Targeting depression with deep brain stimulation

“Her plunge into suicidal darkness began at 39, after the birth of her daughter. Could it be hormonal? Her gynecologist shook her head, then told Stowe about an Emory neurologist named Helen Mayberg she had just read about, who was doing a special type of brain surgery with electrodes for treatment-resistant depression, with promising results. You have a physical illness of the brain, the gynecologist said. This might be your best hope.

Fifteen percent of Americans have clinical depression during some portion of their lives. A third of those have major depression: suicidal thoughts, a sense of disconnection from the world. For a few of those, the entire arsenal of traditional treatments — therapy, medications, even electroconvulsive therapy — doesn’t work. These are the patients Mayberg sees.”

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Source: by Sylvia Wrobel | Emory Medicine | April 27, 2015
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