The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our Annual Report.

Brain implants could soon join fight against severe depression

| | February 21, 2019

With powerful computational methods, scientists have recently zeroed in on some key features of depressed brains. Those hallmarks include certain types of brain waves in specific locations, like the one just behind and slightly above the eyes. Other researchers are focused on how to correct the faulty brain activity that underlies depression.

A small, implantable device capable of both learning the brain’s language and then tweaking the script when the story gets dark would be an immensely important clinical tool. Of the 16.2 million U.S. adults with severe depression, about a third don’t respond to conventional treatments.

Among brain regions, the orbitofrontal cortex may be one of the top networkers. It has links to diverse brain systems, many of which may be important for mood.

Related article:  'Not just eye candy': New mapping technique could help unlock brain's mysteries

“We need to have a smarter approach, rather than, ‘Put it in, turn it on and leave it on,’” says Darin Dougherty, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who is working on new stimulation methods. A system that can change its behavior depending on the patient’s needs would ultimately enable better levels of control, he says, by “driving the system in real time and steering it.”

Read full, original post: Brain-zapping implants that fight depression are inching closer to reality

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend