New pacemaker for the brain is set to change the way we treat mental illness

If you know anything about psychiatry – even if it’s just exaggerated scare stories from the world of movies – you’ll know that doctors have long been experimenting with the effects of electrical impulses on the brain. While electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) doesn’t have the best reputation thanks to films like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Requiem For A Dream, one of its successors is showing a serious amount of potential for the way mental health problems could be treated in the future: and it’s all due to a pacemaker in the brain.

The process is called deep brain stimulation or DBS, and it involves two electrodes inserted deep into the brain, modulating a regular electrical pulse to a specific region. Researchers say it has the ability to stabilise emotions and thoughts, and if early tests can be verified, its use could become much more widespread. While DBS has been around since the 1980s, it’s been gathering momentum in recent years as scientists begin to understand more about its effects.  Source: New pacemaker for the brain

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