Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3 months and counting

I made it to my 3 month check up. They had a few more questions for me - but pretty much the same as the other check ups.

I found a dbs group on yahoo - they are a collection of Parkinsons & ET survivors who have had the dbs for movement disorders. There is a wealth of surgical information there if anyone is interested. Of course, the rest of the information like how they get programmed doesn't really apply. DBS group on Yahoo. You do have to be a member to read all the posts.

I've got a few more links to share. One in particular was interesting - Dr. Mayberg interview on audio. Although a bit long, it has a lot of the details about the study and the expectations etc. She talks about fine tuning this to better understand exactly what kind of treatment will work best for a person with depression. There are probably multiple causes for depression and multiple treatments. It sounds like she is trying to find a way to diagnose which type of treatment will work best for an individual patient. Will talk therapy work? How about a certain type of antidepression medicine? If they can get their fMRIs/PET scans and other assessment tools to really fine tune what will work for a particular patient's brain, it would be wonderful. Which chemicals are missing - then take XXX antidepressant. Chemicals ok but neuron firing is slow in this area - then try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Tests indicate chemicals ok and neuron firing is too active - then DBS is for you. It's really exciting and fascinating stuff.

Also, it looks like Medtronics has officially entered the race. Here's brainimplant's blog as well as the original press release which is buried in the OCD release as well.

Here's a link with an interview to one of the first to undergo this experiment. Pretty good stuff!

Since I'm sharing only the physical attributes of my experience so far, about the only thing I don't think I've mentioned is the lumps on my head where the holes are. For the longest time I felt like Hellboy with his horns shaved down. I'm sure 'feeling' it with my hand up there makes it seem worse than it is. Also, the wire from the scalp to the generator tends to be a little 'stiff' in the mornings. I don't know how else to describe it - but a little tender stretching makes it go away. Both of these things are very common to the DBS surgery and really have nothing unique to DBS for depression, but I thought I'd bring them up.

I'm at the halfway point in the study. Another 3 months and I will for sure be turned on - if I'm not already.