Sunday, April 14, 2013


Hope is one of the hardest things to muster when suffering deep depression.  Unfortunately, too many lose that last ember of hope.  I'm publishing a couple of really exciting links.  I've mentioned before that there are numerous DBS studies around.  I usually only hear from those in the US in the St. Jude study.

The first is great news - if the USA can find the money.  It confirms what I predicted many blogs back - that the amount of research and technology advancements that we've seen in the last 30 years regarding the heart, will be replaced by research of the brain.  (throw in the human genome project as another great step forward).  Here is the NY Times link, but HOPEfully everyone suffering from depression understands the potential of 10 years of concentrated study of the brain:

Next up, and the impetus for me to write about it is the research in Germany where they are implanting it yet another area.  I won't attempt to explain the different areas being explored but they all seem to be interconnected in a circuit, that when disrupted, provides relief from this Hell called Major Depressive Disorder.

Another link about the same study:

And here is the HOPE... for anyone wishing they could get in a study or find ANY way to rid themselves of this disease, hang on.  This is the third "successful" area of the brain that I am aware of to be probed.  I personally believe we will discover there are multiple 'depressions' and different treatments will be developed for each.  I've seen the inside research on some new TMS that is outstanding (but not yet available at your pharmacy).

Not being a brain surgeon, I'm not sure if this is the same area Bonn was playing with before or not.  It sounds like a new area - so there may be 4 areas being studied, plus things like VNS and TMS. 

But this is exciting news.

There is good reason to have HOPE.


Herb said...

Caution: Do not volunteer for any medical research until you read this petition.

I need your help.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fellow DBS patient. I had my surgery early this month, and am still waiting to have my DBS turned on. My target was VC/VS for OCD under the Humanitarian Device Exemption. (I have depression too; VC/VS is a target for both depression and OCD.)

I spent almost a year trying to find a place to have DBS. I talked to the Broaden study and they seemed to really want me to join, in spite of the fact that I told them I have OCD, which is among their exclusionary criteria. Broaden promised me surgery in ~6 weeks at no cost. Ultimately, I said no to Broaden because they told me they wouldn't perform test stimulation during the surgery. That seemed a tiny bit shady because test stimulation is very standard for DBS surgery. I didn't know all the details you address on this blog, like how they only adjust amplitude, and how theirs is only a "feasibility" study. I really hope they told you all these things before you opted in.

In addition to Broaden, I dealt extensively with another study, and, while my experience wasn't as bad as yours (possibly because I didn't end up joining the study!), there was a lot that they did that didn't seem to be out of concern for the patient's (my) well-being. I daresay there were some ethical boundaries crossed or tested. Obviously, these studies are needed to advance psychiatric research and promote effective treatments, but I think sometimes they go too far in treating their subjects as means to accomplish a good study rather than patients needing radical treatment for potentially life-threatening illness.

I hope you get some relief for your depression, and thank you so much for this blog! It's a great resource.


278-005 said...

S --
My experience hasn't been bad with Brodmann. It's been a roller coaster but for me, well worth the ride. There seems to be a full spectrum of responses to the DBS, from remission to the surgery causing more physical damage and a whole lot in between. Good luck.

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