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I have no idea who these people are who are sponsoring this study, but I can say that the link is recruiting people who might be interested in deep brain stimulation as a treatment of depression. This is an exciting new surgical way of combating treatment resistant depression. Basically, your skull is opened up and a thin wire attached to a sort of pacemaker is inserted into a particular area of your brain that, as I recall, is a sort of gateway between the cortex (the judgment and language part of your brain) and sub-cortical regions that are the seat of emotion and mood. The stimulation is a weak electrical current, which functions to stimulate this area to function differently than it does under normal depressive situations. I think the current acts to close the "gate" so that there is less activation flowing up and down between the two regions or something like that. I don't recall the details too well (sorry!) but the research I read found an impressive depression recovery rate, and this in a population of people who were not helped by medications or other treatments. So - thought this is undoubtably expensive, and though it involves brain surgery (which is always pontentially dangerous and should probably always be a treatment of last resort), it seems like it may be something that could develop into a good and useful treatment of last resort, perhaps replacing ECT which currently holds that role. Keep in mind that this is all very experimental right now, but the signs are that this is good stuff.

If anyone contacts these people, please talk about your experiences here, as I'm interested in learning more about this research.

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I had my surgery on June 12th. Getting accepted into the study is an exhaustive process, lasting at least 2 months and requiring a mountain of medical records and much testing. Like so many here, I've had numerous psychiatrists (most of them crap), drugs, therapy and ECT treatments.

The surgery is actually the easy part, except for the drilling. You are awake while the leads are implanted and put to sleep for the transmitter implant. As with many Parkinson patients who receive similar impants in a different part of the brain, upon waking, my depression had completely disappeared. This lasted about 4 weeks.

Becasue this is a double blind study, only 2 of 3 patients will have their units turned on during the first 6 months and nobody knows whether they are on or not. Based on some side effects, it is generally thought that mine is turned on though. My depression has begun to return gradually over the past few weeks, with my MADRAS scroes creeping up into the low 20's. This is not a complete cure for depression, but I am hopeful that I can get at least moderate relief.

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Guest ASchwartz

Deep brain stimulation is part of the new frontier on understanding the brain, how it functions and the role it plays in certain types of depression.

While the research on deep brain stimulation holds great promise for the future medical science is not there yet. Part of the problem is identifying the very specific part of the brain that is implicated in major depression that has been resistant to any type of therapy. Presently, medical science seems to have pin pointed the brain site involved in Parkinson's. This is not quite true of major depression, not yet.

I would urge anyone interested in deep brain stimulation to be extremely cautious. While there is great hope, it is not fully perfected and, of course, there are great risks. It is also important to remember what Roybokhade has just written: That there is an exhaustive screening process that must be gone through to get approved for the procedure.

If you have this extremely resistant type of depression, have tried everything and nothing has helped then, speak to your psychiatrist about this procedure. This is not something anyone should do based on a web site.


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It was not my intent to troll for potential study candidates, only to inform people that the study exists. Given the rules of the study, I probably should have never come here and posted. The administrator comments should be taken VERY seriously.

If anyone is even remotely thinking about participating, you need family, friends, people around you that can help you make decisions. If there was only a .0000001 percent chance of surviving the surgery, I would have still gone through with it, which speaks to the level of desperation that I and probably some of you here feel. Do not go through this process alone!

I had moved to a new area and went to 3 different psychiatrists who would not accept me as a patient because I had TRD. I then started checking with universities and hospitals in the area looking for something, help, while deciding at the same time that once I had gone through my list and been rejected by everyone, it would be ok to off myself. It was the last place on my list where I met the psychiatrist who put me into this study (true story).

Point being people is that there is science being conducted and there are places like this forum and you are not alone in your suffering. I don't know what may happen tomorrow, much less whether I'll be saved, cured or helped by this procedure. At the very least, I tried.

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Hi Robokhade, I thought it was a good gester that you written that people with a Depression so severe, that after trying everything possible that can be tried non medically, that your giving people the impression that there is still light at the end of the tunnel. Like you mentioned, you would have to pass these means test first to prove your needability. Surgeons are not going to opperate unless there's a good cause. Especially as there are knowns dangers in doing this kind of opperation and like you said, if it relieves some of these symptoms, even for a short while? At least in that short while you can get back to reality and a bit of what its meant to be like to live every day without always living on the negative side all the time. I suffer Manic Depression and am on Medication to try and controle it. I live every day as it comes, because you never know what tomorrows going to bring and if my life depended on this operation then I would opt to have it done. Everyone who uses this site is old enough to make there own decisions. There might be a few of us that are not capable enough to make them decisions going of our mental state of mind but then you would have someone to make them decisions for you. Personally, I thought Robokhade was trying to help. I can't speak for every one though! And I thought it was really good of him to inform others who may be eligable to have this surgery done. Keep up the good work! Paula

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