Researchers from the Bonn University Hospital implanted pacemaker electrodes into the medial forebrain bundle in the brains of patients suffering from major depression with amazing results. In six out of seven patients, symptoms improved both considerably and rapidly. The method of Deep Brain Stimulation had already been tested on various structures within the brain, but with clearly lesser effect. The results of this new study were published online on April 5, 2013 in the renowned international journal Biological Psychiatry. After months of deep sadness, a first smile appears on a patient's face. For many years, she had suffered from major depression and tried to end her life several times. She had spent the past years mostly in a passive state on her couch; even watching TV was too much effort for her. Now this young woman has found her joie de vivre again, enjoys laughing and travelling. She and an additional six patients with treatment-resistant depression participated in a study involving a novel method for addressing major depression at the Bonn University Hospital. Professor Dr. Volker Arnd Coenen, neurosurgeon in the Department of Neurosurgery (Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie), implanted electrodes into the medial forebrain 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," says Professor Dr. Thomas E.
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