Posted by psychobot5000 on May 29, 2012, at 2:46:04
In reply to DBS - Any comments?, posted by SLS on December 23, 2011, at 14:29:19
> Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
> Since I have all but run out of pharmacological options for treating bipolar depression, I am beginning to think about DBS.
> Would anyone like to offer comments?
> - Scott
Thought I'd take up this old post. Better late than never? For what it's worth, I think DBS is the most promising treatment out there right now--those pilot studies all got good results.
Therapeutic neuromodulation works. VNS works (slowly, but remarkably), TMS works (unclear how well), and ECT works (though the cost-benefit is unclear). Don't know much about cortical stimulation, other than that it's obviously analagous to DBS but the stimulation is superficial rather than deep within the brain, and it's at a more primitive stage of research. Anyway, all this is a roundabout way of my saying that the overall method of intervention is, in my view, well-established as efficacious, and that DBS appears to be much the best of bunch. If you can get it, I'd encourage you to go for it. There are worse things than having a hole drilled in the base of your skull and two batteries the size of silver dollars (but thicker) implanted in your chest, with wires leading to the aforementioned hole. Seriously. Like...the side-effects some get from antidepressants. Those are probably much worse, because they prevent you from leading a quasi-normal life.
And I doubt DBS will induce mania :)
The only other downsides I'm aware of are the small yearly chance a wire may eventually break, the necessity to replace the pulse generators every two years or so (more surgery, yay!), and the possibility of intracranial infection, which is also small.
Have you any chance to try TMS first?