Of 20 patients with chronic major depression resistant to drugs, a dozen were helped by stimulation in a part of the brain believed to regulate sadness.
People with otherwise untreatable depression improved in a small clinical trial after receiving continuous electrical stimulation of a part of the brain that scientists believe regulates sadness.
A report this week in the journal Biological Psychiatry said 12 of 20 patients with chronic major depression benefited from the electronic device. For seven of the 12, the disease went into remission. The benefits were sustained over the course of the one-year study, researchers said.
"These were patients at the end of the road. They had tried other treatments and nothing seemed to stick," said University of Toronto neurosurgeon Andres M. Lozano, who led the study.
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