"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Electrical Treatment of Mental Illness Combines Old Ideas with Modern Technology and Understanding of the Brain – Podcast

Mental illnesses equivalent to obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and addiction are difficult to treat and sometimes don't reply to drugs. But a brand new wave of treatments that stimulate the brain with electricity is showing promise in patients and in clinical trials. In this episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, we confer with three experts and a patient concerning the history of mental illness treatment, how latest technology and a deeper understanding of the brain are leading to raised treatments and mental illness. Where is neuroscience going next?

It's not unusual to listen to people joke about how their “OCD” makes them wish to straighten a crooked picture or clean a stain on a countertop, but in point of fact, individuals with OCD For, reality is anything but absurd.

Moksha Patel is a physician and professor on the University of Colorado and has severe OCD. “OCD was really taking over my life. My most obvious symptoms were not using any public restrooms, showering for an hour after each time I used the restroom, and using chemical cleaners on my skin and mouth,” she says. say After struggling for years, Patel finally got the hang of it. Rachel Davis, also a psychologist and researcher on the University of Colorado. Davis suggested that he is perhaps candidate for deep brain stimulation as a treatment for his OCD.

“Deep brain stimulation involves the implantation of electrodes deep in the brain. These electrodes then transmit small electrical currents into the brain itself that a doctor and their patient try to fine-tune,” Davis explains. As Davis explains, “Essentially we're looking for settings where the patient feels their mood is better, their anxiety is lower and they have more energy.”

Deep brain stimulation works well for a lot of patients and has begun to realize mainstream attention up to now decade or so, but the essential ideas of this treatment date back nearly 60 years. As described. Joseph FunesA neuroethicist and professor of medication at Weill Cornell Medical College, a part of Cornell University within the US, it began in 1964 with a Spanish neuroscientist, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado. “He inserted something called a stimoceiver, a deep brain stimulator, into the brain of a charging bull. And with radio frequency-controlled electrical currents, he was in a position to stop the bull in its tracks. .

While the work landed Delgado on the front page of the New York Times, it got here on the heels of a horrific era of mental health treatment that included lobotomies, electroshock therapy and plenty of other destructive and deeply unethical interventions. So when researchers began to find drugs that would help individuals with mental illness, Finns says, “psychosurgery and these types of somatic treatments fell out of favor and the therapist moved away from more physical interventions. gone.”

As modern neuroscience led to a greater understanding of how the brain works, and the stigma surrounding physical therapy faded away, deep brain stimulation got a second likelihood within the sun. And as technology has improved, researchers like Jacinta O'Shea, a neuroscientist A non-invasive technique for exciting the brain with electricity, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, has begun to be studied on the University of Oxford.

“If you place a ferromagnetic coil on the scalp and pass a rapidly changing electric current through the coil, it will create an electric field that passes painlessly through the scalp and into the underlying brain tissue. ” says O'Shea. And similar to with deep brain stimulation, these electrical fields may also help people overcome mental health issues like depression.

Researchers still don't know the way deep brain stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation works, but with each latest treatment, they're learning more concerning the complex world of the brain and stepping toward tomorrow's treatments. Picking up

Listen to the total episode of The Conversation Weekly to learn more.

The episode was produced and written by Katie Flood and Daniel Merino, with sound design by Eloise Stevens. The executive producer was Gemma Ware. Our theme music is by Neeta Sarl.

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