Scientists Test Brain Pacemakers for Depression

It's a new frontier for psychiatric illness: Brain pacemakers that promise to act as antidepressants by changing how patients' nerve circuitry fires.

Scientists already know the power of these devices to block the tremors of Parkinson's disease and related illnesses; more than 40,000 such patients worldwide have the implants.

But psychiatric illnesses are much more complex and the new experiments with so-called deep brain stimulation, or DBS, are in their infancy.

Only a few dozen patients with severe depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder so far have been treated in closely monitored studies. Still, the early results are promising. (Continue)