Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Implantable Devices for Major Depression

There already has been some media buzz, and a few blog posts, about the implantable vagus nerve stimulator. It first was developed as a treatment for epilepsy, and it is being investigated for the treatment-resistant depression. One blogger is neutral on the subject; another expresses a strong negative reaction -- which is refuted brilliantly in the comments. Similar devices are used for treatment of severe Parkinson disease. Now, though, we hear of something new. This one, called Activa®, does go directly into the brain. Or, at least, it has wires that go into the brain. In this post, I explain some things about the new devices -- although I do not explain why they work, since nobody knows. Then, for those who care, I use these developments to illustrate a political point. See the full post here.