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Brain-zapping implants that fight depression are inching closer to reality


Added 02-10-19 06:16:02am EST - “Researchers are using electric jolts to correct the faulty brain activity that sparks depression.” - Sciencenews.org

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Sciencenews.org: “Brain-zapping implants that fight depression are inching closer to reality”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

In the Feb. 2 SN: Vitamin D disappoints, lessons from Kilauea’s fireworks, TESS spots strange new worlds, the physics of worm blobs, bad news about heart stem cells, DNA tests track Lassa, and more. 

MOOD CHANGER  Neural activity in certain areas of the brain (blightly colored strands show connections emanating from those regions) can be measured to decode mood.

Like seismic sensors planted in quiet ground, hundreds of tiny electrodes rested in the outer layer of the 44-year-old woman’s brain. These sensors, each slightly larger than a sesame seed, had been implanted under her skull to listen for the first rumblings of epileptic seizures.

The electrodes gave researchers unprecedented access to the patient’s brain. With the woman’s permission, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco began using those electrodes to do more than listen; they kicked off tiny electrical earthquakes at different spots in her brain.

Most of the electrical pulses went completely unnoticed by the patient. But researchers finally got the effect they were hunting for by targeting the brain area just behind her eyes. Asked how she felt, the woman answered: “Calmer in my nerves.”

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