Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure in which a ‘brain pacemaker’ is implanted into a patient’s brain. This ‘pacemaker’ then sends electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain in order to alleviate the symptoms of typically treatment-resistant conditions.

Mind Hacks has made a list of the conditions treated using DBS:

  • Obesity
  • Writer’s cramp
  • Tremor
  • Depression
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Huntingdon’s disease
  • Addiction
  • Self-mutilation
  • Cluster headache
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • OCD
  • Early onset pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration
  • Dystonia
  • Meige syndrome
  • Facial pain
  • According to the comments, anorexia nervosa too.

Bluegrass musician Eddie Adcock recently underwent DBS surgery to treat tremors that were preventing him from playing. Via Mind Hacks, the BBC has a video of Adcock playing banjo whilst having surgery as a way to test the surgery’s success. (If you can’t see the embedded video, an ABC News report of the surgery has been uploaded to YouTube.)