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More evidence that deep brain stimulation may help treat mental illness
January 2nd, 2012
04:04 PM ET

More evidence that deep brain stimulation may help treat mental illness

A new study is advancing the possibility that mentally ill patients who do not respond to conventional therapies may benefit from battery-powered electrodes surgically implanted in their brains.

The procedure, called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), uses a pacemaker-like device to deliver small, steady electrical charges to specific brain circuits that control our moods.

While DBS has been approved by the FDA since 1997 to treat the symptoms of movement disorders - essential tremor, Parkinson's disease and dystonia– its use in mental illness is experimental.  Only a few scientists have tested DBS on just several dozen psychiatric patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The most recent study, published Monday in the online edition of Archives of General Psychiatry, includes not only 10 patients with major depressive disorder, but also 7 patients with bipolar II disorder, who typically have frequent, severe depressive episodes and are at a high risk of suicide.

All patients had tried conventional treatments, including psychotherapy, psychiatric medications, and electroconvulsive therapy. But nothing they tried brought any meaningful relief.

Their lives were typically burdened with deep feelings of detachment - like “being in a muck,” says Dr. Helen Mayberg, the Emory University neurologist who led the new study. “You can’t move; you can’t connect. You feel like you’ve done something wrong and you want to be dead.”

The principle measure for the level of illness in the experimental subjects was the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, a widely-used questionnaire that asks patients about 17 different symptoms.  Only patients whose Hamilton scores were 20 or above, which indicates severe depression, were eligible for the study.

A 50% drop in the Hamilton score after the DBS surgery was counted as a “response.” Patients whose Hamilton scores dropped below 8 were considered to be in “remission,” experiencing the normal ups and downs of healthy people.

After 24 weeks, 41% of the patients had a positive response to the stimulation and 18% were in remission.  After two years of stimulation, the response rate was up to 92% and 58% of the patients were in remission.   The increasing rate of improvement is consistent with data from earlier experiments showing that the impact of the electrical stimulation seems to accumulate over time.

Dr. Paul Holtzheimer, a psychiatrist who recently moved from Emory to Dartmouth Medical School, and Emory neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Gross, are also co-authors of the study.

The target of their DBS surgery is the white matter just below a pea-size brain structure known as Area 25.  Earlier experiments by Mayberg had identified Area 25 as a junction box for the brain circuits linked to our moods. She calls it “a ringleader”.  Using powerful imaging technology, Mayberg found that Area 25 seems to be overactive in depressed patients.  She theorized that a small electrical current might make this area active.

Mayberg and a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital tested the theory in a groundbreaking experiment using Deep Brain Stimulation on six severely depressed patients, which was published in 2005.

Mayberg, who holds a patent with another scientist on the DBS procedure for depression, has licensed her intellectual property to St. Jude Medical, Inc. which also pays her and others on her team consulting fees.

The new study adds additional support to Mayberg’s original findings that DBS appears to be safe and effective.

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Filed under: Brain • Depression

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. alfred beilin

    good day everyone hope yous had a nice xmas and heres to the new year
    a beilin

    January 2, 2012 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anita

      The government does put these in people and torture them. It is like being a slave without any dignity or human rights what so ever. All doctors just back each other up.

      August 2, 2014 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
  2. JeramieH

    Paranoid schizophrenics that really do have a computer chip in their head. Gives them even more reason to think they're being controlled by the government, aliens, whatever...

    January 2, 2012 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Expertia

      My dad was a paranoid schizophrenic, and I was thinking the same thing - he thought he had iradio receiver mplants inside him from a real surgery he had and that certain people were controlling him and hurting him, etc. If he had a real implant, I think it could have been worse!

      January 3, 2012 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
    • Random

      This is a well thought-out idea.
      On another note, the other question is what area are they stimulating. If it is the pleaser center, then it would make anyone happy. It this is the case they may become addicted. Or I may have read the article incorrectly.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • G Money

      Ha ha ha very funny JeramieH! I am lovin this response man. Keep up the funny's!

      January 3, 2012 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • neurosurge

      @ Expertia....was your father a coffee, tea, or soda drinker. 1,3,7 trimethylxanthine is the true cause of paranoid schizophrenia. Trimethylxanthine, AKA CAFFEINE, disrupts adenosine from being recepted in the brain. Adenosine regulates dopamine and serotonin. Excess dopamine causes schizophrenia. Many people diagonsed with paranoid SZ are actually caffeine toxic. The caffeine has built up in their brain cells and causes damage to the frontal lobes.

      Caffeine also:
      disrupts the sleep-wake cycle.
      decreases bloodflow to the brain by 30%
      depletes your body of vitamins/minerals
      is a natural pesticide
      causes an insulin (like sugar/carbs) response and causes diabetes
      wrecks havoc on the central nervous system
      causes adrenaline to be released causing the paranoia

      If you want the truth, research the stuff yourself because there are fraudulent studies out there to say caffeine is safe. Just go to wikipedia and look at the facts if you do not believe. I am a chemist and have years of observation of my mother and brother who are both diagonsed with paranoid SZ, but are actually caffeine toxic.

      January 4, 2012 at 00:31 | Report abuse |
    • SoulCatcher

      NeuroS, I drink soda all the time with caffeine and it has't affected me one bit (as I enjoy my diet pepsi max. Caffeine is a pesticide? So it kills insects in my brain. Bugs. You must be an alien from outer space or a tobacco industry rep trying to push some other drug on us.

      The reason I can't sleep well is I have too many video games I can never finish and I have a 1 year old.

      January 4, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    Not funny

    January 2, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gigi Cautino

      This article talks about these implants as a treatment for depression. so far it does not suggest this treatment for schizophrenia. I understand the concerns about it for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. However, those are very different brain disorders than just depression.

      January 4, 2012 at 07:16 | Report abuse |
  4. Jennifer

    JeramieH you are NOT funny. If you haven't done so, try walking in the shoes of someone who is severely depressed and hasn't been helped by standard treatments. In fact, get a life!

    January 2, 2012 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason

      Actually, Jeramie has a pretty good point. It would be important for the schizophrenic patient to agree to have the stimulator in place. This device sounds reminiscent of electrocunvulsive therapy. Perhaps they've narrowed the area that needs stimulated down to where a full out grand maul seizure isn't necessary any more. That would be awesome! If they also took care of the side effects, this device sounds promising. It would be able to stimulate the brain whenever necessary instead of having to go in and get ECT treatments.

      January 3, 2012 at 03:02 | Report abuse |
    • Grumpy Schizo

      I don't think Jeremy was trying to be funny...sounded pretty matter-of-fact to me. You're being a bit paranoid, aren't you? I have some radio chips for you if you like....nacho flavored.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:05 | Report abuse |
  5. Linda

    JeramieH. My son is paranoid schizophrenic, and living with him everyday is difficult for me, so I can only imagine how it must be for him. Don't make fun unless you are aware of what you're talking about.

    January 2, 2012 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grumpy Schizo

      Both of myselves are paranoid schizophrenics.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
    • glennrobert

      Linda you have my sympathy. My son is paranoid but manages to live alone. The medications now are well received twenty years ago they were ineffective. He has his own apartment and spends a lot of time on his computer. I think he still has to deal with the voices. He can't work but enjoys life and does have some weird ideas.

      January 5, 2012 at 02:53 | Report abuse |
  6. Avser Bastian

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to simply retard individual = how homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED AS GOOD TO GO NEXT !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / FORCED BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw&w=640&h=360]
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!

    EXILING WHITES WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS COMPLETELY FREE.

    January 2, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Russ

      What bothers me is that some of what you say is true, but your approach makes too many assumptions. You abuse the transitive property of mathematics, it is not applicable in most real life simulations. You also offer zero actual evidence, the symbol "=" is not sufficient to prove whether two things are equal. I do find it funny that there are people who believe in a secret plot by the federal government (consisting mainly of white Americans) to assassinate all white Americans. I find it funny because there are so many people in this world who would love to see the death of all white Americans and you choose the American government as a to stage such wild conspiracy theories, bravo. I would like to assume that this propaganda comes from an American, but your grammar is so poor that I would be embarrassed for both of us if we actually shared a native language. You should spend more time doing the research than posting these 30 minute text videos of your life story.

      January 3, 2012 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
    • Not Relevant

      Narcissistic paranoia rant/vid = TLDR

      January 3, 2012 at 02:16 | Report abuse |
    • R

      moron

      January 3, 2012 at 07:31 | Report abuse |
    • john

      Your one dude that should never own a gun!

      January 3, 2012 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
    • Grumpy Schizo

      Did you lose your tin foil hat over the holiday weekend?

      January 3, 2012 at 08:08 | Report abuse |
    • Koren

      Wow...I just wasted 29 minutes of my life.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:10 | Report abuse |
    • Revolution is a Beatles Album

      This guy posts this rant all over....it's his "manifesto" for being a complete idiot. This is the type of person who needs the implant chip....or a swift kick in the nads.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:10 | Report abuse |
    • Jim Jones

      I here that Guyana has some delicious Kool-Aid....would you please help yourself?

      January 3, 2012 at 08:11 | Report abuse |
    • Across12

      Would you please schedule this one for an implant? Thank you.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
    • Random

      Thank you for helping to demonstrate what people are trying to solve. Take your meds. Pleas. Do it for your Mom.

      January 3, 2012 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • G Money

      What a stupid video.

      January 3, 2012 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • NobodySpecial

      Oh, great, another Norway killer copy-cat. I hope the Feds are watching this guy.

      January 3, 2012 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • glennrobert

      I am white and you have mental problems!

      January 5, 2012 at 02:58 | Report abuse |
  7. Avser Bastian

    Look CNN, you helped me alot and I thank you very much for it all. However, do not discredit your line of work as a JOURNALISTS(I am lots of things, but for everything I state, I have hard proofs as seen on my websites...written proofs even with recordings). For the rest of the story, I encourage you to release state files. They will listen to you.

    January 2, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Across12

      Congratulations, you have been received priority for the next implant experiment.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
  8. danR

    Wonder if this could mean a Nobel prize. Seems they've found something fundamental about depression, and also found a treatment.

    January 2, 2012 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beverly

      Prima oara cand am vazut acel film am considerat ca este un film bun,foarte bun,apoi am avut izocaa sa il revad nu cu mult timp in urma si am inteles ca este de fapt o lectie,o lectie sa nu devenim doar niste bovine care merg in cireada in fiecare zi a vietii lor.Eu cred ca avem ce invata din filmul respectiv

      March 4, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
  9. linda brown

    1st of all the treatment is for SEVERE DEPRESSION not schizophrenia. 2) Less than 1 of my 40 adult years has been nondepressed. Everyday is an agony of hopelessness. Meds just make Big Pharma richer and normals more efficient and satisfied. If DBS would give me a chance to feel joy or go 24 hours without wanting to die, sign me up.

    January 3, 2012 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • longtooth

      Be strong, Linda Brown.

      January 3, 2012 at 08:20 | Report abuse |
    • Tamara

      Linda, Severe depression is a living hell; I have been there. (I'd had clinical depression for years, but then it really went off the charts to something I'd never had been able to imagine before.) I hope that some way, somehow, you find relief from your illness. It cannot possibly described to anyone who hasn't been there, and the extent of the meanness and joke-making under this article are stunning. I hope none of these people, or anyone they love, ever experience a crippling illness– physical or mental. As much as loved ones may want to understand, they cannot– and there is a strong belief among many, even those who don't verbalize it, that somehow those with depression have control over this. But you know, as I do, that we have no more control over this that we would cancer or diabetes– and that is no exageration. Healthy people can remember dark moods and perhaps devastating sadness/mourning, but severe, clinical depression is in another stratosphere. Linda, you are courageous to have dealt with it all these years. (For me, it took 5 tries of medication and almost a year of considering suicide every single day.) I send you my warmest wishes.

      January 5, 2012 at 02:31 | Report abuse |
  10. TruthSeeker

    I wonder if Binaural Beat sound therapy could achieve similar results without the use of invasive implants. Using this technique one can supposedly influence brainwave patterns to synch to desired states of consciousness. Learn more about sound therapy at TranscendentalTones.

    January 3, 2012 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Emelia

    They're talking about depression, idiots...
    I think it's cool they're finally finding a treatment for (otherwise untreatable) depression. That's really wonderful.

    January 3, 2012 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Dr Bill Toth

    Stcikin things into one's skull sure seems like a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You are what you think about, tune out from CNN = Constantly Negative News and Tune into thoughts, people, places and things that Inspire, lift, empower and otherwise move forward. Live with Intention, DrBillTothCom/blog

    January 3, 2012 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bptsj

      You're an idiot. My daughter, 28, has been diagnosed Bipolar II w/ schezophrenia for ten years. She goes through severe depression and has attempted suicide twice. ECT helped her a lot but had side affects (loss of some memory). If an implant would raise her depression level to what is considered normal it would be a blessing. For your information you can't just tell your brain to stop thinking depressive thoughts.

      January 3, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Sure, but...

      Sure, changing your environment can help a lot in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression, but in the case of a severely clinically-depressed individual whose illness is caused by a physiologic imbalance instead of situational stress-based reaction, turning off TV or getting off of the internet are like shooting a garden hose at a house fire: sure, it might help a little bit, but not enough.

      Now, I'm not saying to take this as a first step either. But if other measures of increasing intensity don't seem to work, I see no problem why this might not be used to treat said illnesses if the test results thus far have lookied promising.

      January 3, 2012 at 11:53 | Report abuse |
    • Sure, but...

      Ok, well, I was trying to avoid personal attacks, but I think bptsj covered that for me. I'm just curious: Did you put "Dr." in front of your name for fun or did you take a 2-week online course?

      January 3, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
  13. Barbara

    I find it disgusting that people can make fun of such a terrible disease. Living with depression is no cake walk, people. Even though I am compassioned enough, I would not wish it on any of the people who make fun of this misery. It is no life, no joy,
    you just go through the day without any joy. Linda I wish you the best, only people who have walked in our shoes can and will understand how depression feels.

    January 3, 2012 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      Move a muscle, chnage a thought -- depression involves think about yourself a whole lot - Go help someone, an elderly parent or relative, volunteer at homeless shelter or soup kitchen -- 4 hours spent at a shelter will take the focus of you for a little while

      January 3, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      To Dave: When a person is severely depressed, moving just to go to the bathroom or to eat can be nearly impossible. I'm encouraged that such a thought pattern has worked for you or others you may know. But for those who are clinically depressed, if it were as easy as 'moving a muscle', there wouldn't be a need for such therapies as described in the article. Incidentally, there can be a tremendous amount of guilt associated with depressive thinking. For many, your comment may only serve to underscore that guilt, which could be just enough to send someone over the edge.

      January 3, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • Tamara

      To Dave: It is ignorance and assumptions like yours that keep those with mental illness stigmatized and labeled as people who can just put on a happy face and go help out at a soup kitchen and all will be fine. Do you think give advice to Stage IV cancer patients, too, on how best to become cancer-free by joining an aerobics class and eating lots of broccoli? Do you tell paralyzed individuals that taking multi-vitamins will make them able to walk again? Your advice here is NO less ridiculous and arrogant. If you think walking out into the sunshine and doing-good-unto-others will fix major clinical depression, you are strongly mistaken.

      January 5, 2012 at 02:41 | Report abuse |
  14. dave

    Brain and Brain, what is brain?!

    January 3, 2012 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sara

    The pharm industry will fight this with everything they've got......the money made on the daily medications is very high in profit and here in America profit through sickness is more important than actually helping the ill. For those who think mental/brain illness is funny you're pathetic.....you need to be careful because life has a funny way of paying back heartless people.

    January 3, 2012 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Mike

    N.B. "Mental illness" is the term doctors/lawyers use to refer to socially-undesirable people that have NOTHING medically wrong with them, yet on whom we wish to apply some sort of social sanction anyway because they are so bleeping undesirable. No objective science, simply social-fascism expressed as "symptom clusters".

    The pseudoscience of psychiatry has a long history of hijacking scientifically valid medical devices/protocols for non-scientific and amoral human experimentation. We can now add DBS to an increasingly long and sad list.

    I have more respect for phrenologists, who rely on independently-verifiable head-bumps to base their preachy edicts.

    January 3, 2012 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sara

      Really? I guess you do not consider the "brain" as part of the physical system of the body. Is it safe to assume that you also do not believe in evolution or climate change?

      January 3, 2012 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
    • dogbeachlover@yahoo.com

      Think seritonin. Think diabetes and insulin.

      January 3, 2012 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • mike's shoes

      Mike, I wish unmitigated bipolar disorder on you for one year. Next, I wish a year of paranoid schizophrenia on you and last, I wish a lifetime of recurrant major depression on you. A mile/year in these shoes obviously isn't enough for the likes of you. You will pray for death each hour and one day perhaps, scrape up the courage to achieve it.

      January 3, 2012 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Yeah, what Mike said.

      January 4, 2012 at 04:18 | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      And I don't mean mike's shoes.

      January 4, 2012 at 04:30 | Report abuse |
  17. Myto Senseworth

    ........Johnny Mnemonic.....Fahrenheit 451....robo cop......6 million daller man..whats next?

    January 3, 2012 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      The correct answer was "The Terminal Man." Thanks for playing.

      January 4, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  18. Cheryl Prax

    There has never been any research that has proved people are depressed due to a lack of serotonin. It is a theory to push psych drugs.

    January 3, 2012 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Loren

      The hilarious part is that some say its "too much serotonin", no one can agree. Maybe because there is no freaking reason, it is the way it is.

      January 4, 2012 at 04:19 | Report abuse |
    • Gemma

      De fiecare data cand ma mai uit la filmu asta ma aleg cu cate ceva. Ar rebtui sa il bage si in scoli ca vizionare obligatorie 😉

      March 5, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
  19. Cheryl Prax

    Depression is not a biological problem. It is due to trauma and life experiences. This is no way to solve it. Neither are psych drugs and electroconvulsive therapy.

    January 3, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Loren

      Exactly. Anyone seen the movie Disturbing Behavior? This is some Blue Ribbon bull. I can totally imagine court-ordered implants in the future, psychopathic psychiatrists 1, humanity as we know it 0. Sorry if I accidentally doublepost, refresh isn't working on my browser.

      January 4, 2012 at 04:12 | Report abuse |
  20. Teararound

    Depression can be a biological problem. What ever causes it for each person, it is very difficult and also difficult for their loved ones who wish they could just make the problem go away for the depressed person. It is so hard to see someone suffer. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a magic way to cure depression! I believe that there may be several causes and we need to continue to study it as well as all other mental illnesses so that treatment or even prevention may be found.

    January 3, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Yasmina

    It's about treatment-resistant depression, folks. You probably shouldn't even be commenting, unless you or an important other have suffered from this affliction for more than a year, with no improvement in sight...!

    Am wondering about the lines, "Using powerful imaging technology, Mayberg found that Area 25 seems to be overactive in depressed patients. She theorized that a small electrical current might make this area ACTIVE."...

    I think perhaps the correct words should have been, "less active"? Or, perhaps a clarification of exactly why Area 25 is "overactive"?

    Anyway, I think that any medical procedure which can geuinely assist people in living a better life is pretty phenomenal. I remain hopeful that something can be done to reduce the suffering attached to this horrible disease, and soon.

    January 4, 2012 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. neurosurge

    Take the challenge folks. Get off all 1,3, 7 trimethylxanthine AKA CAFFEINE for 3 months. Caffeine causes depression, anxiety, and paranoid SZ. It is called caffeine toxicity.

    I am a chemist, have done the research, and have observed 2 family members that have paranoid SZ for 25 years. Do the research yourself, you will see. Also, read the book Caffeine Blues by Dr. Stephen Cherniske ASAP. The faster you spread the word, the faster we get this natural pesticide (caffeine) banned. Scroll up to my reply under JeramieHs' comment to see some of the things caffeine does. Please listen to me it is true.

    Think of everyone you know who is depressed, anxious, cannot sleep well, or psychotic. I would bet at least 90% of them currently consume or have consumed caffeinated soda, tea, chocolate and coffee.

    January 4, 2012 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Padilpr1640

      You may have a point there. But I don't understand. I am only 16 and am probably pretty ignorant but don't millions of people in America drink coffee, tea and all the other thinks you listed? So would that mean a large percentive would be mentaly ill? I am bipolar and have attempted suicide once. Been hospitalised many times but I don't consume crap like that. Please don't be offended at my question, I am just curious.

      January 4, 2012 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      I would like to talk to you more about this

      January 4, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • Loren

      Green tea, which is full of caffeine, also keeps neurons communicating and firing. So its a tradeoff, and I believe caffeine exacerbates, doesn't CAUSE these "disorders" if you can even call them that.

      January 4, 2012 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Yasmina

      I beg to differ, neurosurge. I've been caffeine-free for ten years. I've always been so aware of what I consume-and yet, I developed Major Depressive Disorder at 4494 years after becoming totally C-free.). I also sufferred for years beforehand, because of its slow creeping onset, not knowing what was happening to me. I was terrified. I tried everything wholistic and natural that there was-remained active, hopeful, and positive-to no avail.

      Some people might benefit from a reduction in their caffeine intake, that's true. Past a certain point, it can certainly make you anxious and sleep-deprived. But it is NOT the cause of major depression symptoms. THAT has been pinpointed-Depression is due to chemical imbalances in the brain, causing mis-firings in the synapses in specific areas. Researchers can even SEE the areas affected on brain scans! Caffeine alone can not cause the private pain and harrowing damage that even a mild mental illness leaves in its wake.

      And so far, only medication, and educating myself endlessly about the subject, have been able to assist me in feeling better.

      Also, (and this is for everyone!) it would really help if people would stop lumping all mental illness together. Get genuinely educated-and this will help everyone much more than postulating about the evils of caffeine.

      January 5, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  23. c s

    I read about a similar device in a science fiction short story many years ago. Supposedly addicts were treated with an implant that would be used instead of drugs. In the story, the amount and duration of the electrical charge was restricted. This implanted device was used to murder a person by removing all restrictions on its use. The addict would not "unplug" it to leave his room and died of starvation. Of course it was only fiction.

    January 4, 2012 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mike

    Pure unadulterated garbage. I've been in with my mother when she was labeled "mentally ill" or "schizophrenic". I asked the quack if her taking five different medication including OxyContin, cold medicines, a thyroid treatment, blood pressure meds and her drinking could have something to do with her "odd" behavior... She stated "maybe". Look if all of these doctors are getting sued for their treatments and pharmaceuticals are getting sued for their side effects. Why would anyone listen to these weirdos?

    January 5, 2012 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Yasmina

    Sorry, that was supposed to be, "at 44 (4 years after becoming totally C-free)."

    January 5, 2012 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
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    October 29, 2017 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.