Depression is a severe mental condition that affects the lives of millions of people. For this reason, scientists have studied various treatments for the disorder. Therapies range from medication to electroconvulsive therapy to treat depression. However, some people have disputes resistance to them.
Researchers canceled the DBS trial because of negative results
Researchers have found a solution to combat resistance to treatment. The therapy, deep brain stimulation (DBS), uses surgery and implantation of wires to stimulate the brain and its neurons. Despite their efforts, negative results forced them to shut down the program.
Sameer Sheth, the lead study author and neurosurgery expert at Baylor College of Medicine, has described the move as disappointing. Because the previous study gave little data on DBS, another modified study hopes to correct this. Moreover, researchers conducted the last survey on a small sample group.
Many states in the U.S have approved DBS to treat various mental disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People often think of it as a pacemaker for the brain as it sends electric signals to the organ.
DBS treats Parkinson’s by reducing stiffness and tremors. It can also relax muscles and treat abnormal postures due to muscle contractions caused by dystonia. However, DBS does not offer a cure for mental disorders. It instead relieves symptoms eliminating the need for medications and the side effects of taking drugs.
A physician will consider DBS after looking at the patient’s age, familial support, ongoing mental conditions, severity, and possible treatment outcomes.
Other trials have had positive results
Many tests that did not use control groups have found the treatment beneficial. However, researchers from Medtronic and St. Jude Medical Inc did not find substantial evidence in the 2015 and 2017 studies.
Fortunately, newer studies have shown potential. For instance, Stanford University conducted a study that followed up on patients from the Medtronic study. One of the experiments evaluated Medtronic volunteers who had had the implant for about ten years. Researchers compared their condition before and after the treatments and found that they had experienced a 50% improvement.
Mahendra Bahti, a lead study author and psychiatrist from Stanford University, has confirmed that about 30 of the Medtronic participants have shown an improvement