MIT researchers have created a depression detector and even a potential cure!

News JVTech MIT researchers have created a depression detector and even a potential cure!

A team of researchers has made a discovery that could change the way depression is treated. A revolution which is only at its beginning, but which already seems very promising.

The device that once saved a patient from depression

Depression is a big topic, and one that we don’t know much about neurologically. The shapes are different and symptoms can vary greatly from individual to individual. So being able to detect depression from neurological data is absolutely revolutionary. Although throughout the article, it will be necessary to take tweezers. This is experimentation and testing on a small sample.

MIT researchers

first started by implanting electrodes to analyze the brain activity of three out of five volunteers. This first study has potentially identified the part of the brain responsible for mood. Looking closer, the researchers discovered that when the person was feeling good, the neural indicator was on one side, while when the person was experiencing depressive symptoms, it was on the other side.

Treatment of depression with electrical stimulation

This is where we come to the part that may seem barbaric. As with Parkinson’s disease, researchers wondered whether activating the part of the brain responsible for depression could affect it.

It turns out that John, a patient whose name has been anonymized, had 14 electrodes implanted into his brain. A risky procedure which luckily had no negative impact. The electrodes were thus activated in different ways, with different patterns and intensities.

Researchers then realized that four electrodes were enough to “treat” John’s depression. We had to find the exact place to stimulate. The patient explains as follows:

They reached a point in my brain where I said to myself: I really feel online again. Depression is like a constant weight on your soul. When they touched the perfect little spot, the weight increased.

Today, John has four stimulation electrodes in his brain and a battery implanted in his chest. What approaches a little more of a world of science fiction, both terrifying and fantastic.

On the way to a treatment for all depressions?

The current reality is that just because this patient saw very positive results doesn’t mean it applies to everyone. The experiment will be launched on other volunteers who are victims of depression. The study plans to be expanded to a total of 12 patients.

Although it works, the method is impractical and has an obvious risk of complications. Especially since there are approximately 300 million people diagnosed with depression in the world. More than 800,000 people commit suicide each year due to the causes of this disease. The numbers are so high that it is difficult to imagine being able to treat so many patients with such an invasive method.

Once the researchers have succeeded in making this method universal, the procedure must be significantly simplified for large-scale implementation. This still leaves hope for the future.

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