Berlin: Researchers have successfully implanted pacemaker electrodes into the brains of patients suffering from major depression, with symptoms of six out of seven of them improving considerably and rapidly. Dr Volker Arnd Coenen, neurosurgeon at the Department of Neurosurgery at the Bonn University Hospital in Germany, implanted electrodes into the medial fore-brain bundles in the brains of subjects suffering from major depression with the electrodes being connected to a brain pacemaker. The nerve cells were then stimulated by means of a weak electrical current, a method called Deep Brain Stimulation. In a matter of days, in six out of seven patients, symptoms such as anxiety, despondence, listlessness and joylessness had improved considerably. "Such sensational success both in terms of the strength of the effects, as well as the speed of the response has so far not been achieved with any other method," said Dr Thomas E Schlapfer from the Bonn University Hospital Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.
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