Press That Button Again, Please (Canadian Medical Association Journal)


Dartmouth Medical School’s Paul Holtzheimer was at the helm of a groundbreaking study that placed electrical wires in the brains of patients to treat severe mental disorders, reports the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study’s promising results are published in the February 2012 edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Researchers implanted battery packs in the chests of 17 patients who suffered from depression or bipolar disorder. The packs were then connected to wires placed directly into the areas of the brain thought to be relevant to those mental disorders.

For up to two years, the battery packs will send electrical impulses through the wires, “establishing a more normal rhythm within the brain,” Holtzheimer, associate professor of psychiatry and surgery, told the CMAJ.

While many of the study participants have reported profound improvements in their conditions, more research is needed before the procedure, known as deep brain stimulation, will be widely available, Holtzheimer said.

Read the full story, published 2/13/12 by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Office of Communications