Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pacemaker for the Brain

Insertion of an electrode during neurosurgery for Parkinson's disease.Image via WikipediaIn two of the largest studies at the Cleveland Clinic, results show that a “brain pacemaker” may have the ability to treat depression and Obsessive-Compulsive disorder. Like a heart pacemaker, the devise is implanted in the chest; leads then send electrical impulses to the brain. To date the pacemaker has already been approved to treat disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

The technique known as deep brain stimulation has helped some of the most severely depressed patients, as well as patients with OCD with no serious side effects related to the device.

Currently Medtronic has an application before the U.S. Food and Drug administration for the device to be used for treating OCD. An implantable device, by Cyberonics, was approved by the FDA in 2005 for treatment-resistant depression, by sending signals to the brain through the vagus nerve in the neck.


  1. This thrills me, yet at the same time scares me. I don't know why.

  2. My doc and I discussed this several years ago, but then she noted further research which didn't look quite as promising, so we are both still following the progress closely. I read a book she gave me about it. It was written by patients who had participated in the first clinical trials. Their reports were glowing, lives changed, etc... I am hopeful the technology continues to advance. I would do it in a heartbeat!

  3. Kelly, I want to thank you for being a part of my blogosphere and award you with a Flower Smeller's Award. As a person living with bipolar disorder, I have a big appreciation for you blog.

    I have info about the award on my blog:

    It's the May 31 post.

    Thank you for you blog.