Navigation Links
Study Looks at Deep Brain Stimulation in Bipolar Patients
Date:1/2/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A small study suggests that deep brain stimulation, which is currently being investigated as a treatment for general depression, may also help patients with bipolar disorder.

There are some caveats. The surgery necessary to allow deep brain stimulation is extremely expensive. And for now, the research is preliminary, so it's too early to know for sure if the treatment is appropriate to be used for any kind of depression.

Still, the study suggests that brain stimulation "not only just helps patients who haven't been able to recover from depression, but it seems to be associated with the absence of relapses. They're not only getting better, they're staying better," said study co-author Dr. Helen Mayberg, a professor in both the departments of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and neurology, at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

In deep brain stimulation, surgeons insert wires into the brain that allows a specific region to be continuously hit with an electronic pulse. The level of stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device implanted in the chest.

Deep brain stimulation has been around for more than 20 years, Mayberg said, and is commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease. The cost of the surgery is about $50,000, she said.

Previous research by Mayberg and others suggested that deep brain stimulation had potential as a treatment for depression. The St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation company, which has provided consulting fees to Mayberg and some of the other study authors, is currently recruiting patients for a study that could pave the way for its approval as a treatment for depression, Mayberg said.

The new study, which appears online Jan. 2 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, began with 10 patients with depression and seven with bipolar disorder -- a condition that causes severe mood swings and is also known as manic depression. They all received deep brain stimulation for 24 weeks after going through four weeks either with or without stimulation.

Most of the patients continued to receive the treatment over two years, although researchers temporarily turned it off in three of them as part of the study before realizing that doing so caused their depression to return.

The researchers found that 18 percent of patients went into remission after 24 weeks, 36 percent (of 14 patients) after one year. After two years, of the 12 patients still in the study, seven patients (58 percent) were in remission.

"The number of patients who got better increased over time, but it's not quite clear as to why," Mayberg said. The workings of deep brain stimulation as a whole are a mystery, although Mayberg said it may work by changing the brain's rhythms.

Patients didn't suffer from side effects, she noted.

So, what's next?

Dr. Samuel James Collier, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Austin, predicted that even if deep brain stimulation turns out to be an effective treatment for depression, it'll be far from the first line of defense.

"Medications and ECT -- electroconvulsive therapy -- are clearly safer, better tolerated, and do not embody a large surgical risk," Collier said. "I can't think of a scenario where deep brain stimulation would be considered even remotely before medications and ECT were exhausted."

Still, he said, it's important to note that "we seem to be making progress and hopefully those who are suffering the most can find solace in that and not give up hope."

For now, research continues. If patients are interested in deep brain stimulation treatment, they should try to get into the study that's ongoing, Mayberg said.

More information

For more about deep brain stimulation, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Helen S. Mayberg, M.D., professor, departments of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Samuel James Collier, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Austin; Jan. 2, 2012, Archives of General Psychiatry, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study Looks at Deep Brain Stimulation in Bipolar Patients
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... ... California Senate Bill (SB) 863, signed into law in 2012, may have contributed ... to CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for California, 17th Edition , a study by the ... per claim in California decreased 4 percent in 2013 and then 3 percent in ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... services from offices headquartered in Little Rock, has initiated a charity drive to ... the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, Arkansas ranks first in senior hunger ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Coppin Insurance Agency, an insurance and ... and around the Cape Coral area, is embarking on a charity drive with the ... Florida. , The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida works to provide fresh ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... DrugDev again ... that it is one of the early adopters completing EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Certification from ... to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Children ... bodies, a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has ... found that when young children are exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke, measurable amounts ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Quebec , Dec. 8, 2016  Valeant ... and TSX: VRX) ("Valeant") today announced positive results ... clinical study to assess the safety and efficacy ... the treatment of plaque psoriasis. ... subjects with moderate to severe psoriasis, IDP-118 showed ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that it has obtained proof-of-mechanism for neflamapimod (previously ... recently completed Phase 2a clinical trials that demonstrated ... from Study 302 (12-week treatment) and Study 303 ... the Clinical Trials in Alzheimer,s Disease (CTAD) scientific ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- A Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant has ... to Phoenix -based NeuroEM Therapeutics, Inc. ... will seek to determine an optimal set of treatment ... to treat Alzheimer,s Disease. The grant will also investigate ... other neurologic disorders such as Parkinson,s Disease and PTSD. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: