Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Electrical brain stimulation could aid depression

  • 1 Comment

People with long-term depression may soon be helped by a new type of electrode surgery being developed at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

The technique sends small spurts of electricity to either stimulate or inhibit sections of the brain via battery-powered electrical conductors inserted into holes in the skull.

In one apparently successful example, 62-year-old Sheila Cook was the first person to be given treatment.

The BBC reports that Ms Cook, who lives in Torquay, had lived with severe depression for many years. She underwent the deep brain stimulation operation and initially experienced some short-term benefit.

A second procedure, known as ablative surgery, was then carried out. Ms Cook told the BBC: “I suddenly woke up in the morning and I thought: I feel different. I want to get up. I want to do things.

“And my whole view of life changed.”

The technique may eventually replace the more destructive commonly used ablative surgery.

Seven other people were operated on and their results will be published later this year.


Do you think electrical brain stimulation will eventually replace ablative surgery?

View poll results
  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.