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New Brain Implant Treats Severe Depression

New Brain Implant Treats Severe Depression

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco Health has successfully treated a patient with severe depression by targeting the specific brain circuit involved in depressive brain patterns and resetting them. 

Deep brain stimulation is a promising treatment for neuropsychiatric conditions such as major depression. It could be optimized by identifying neural biomarkers that trigger therapy selectively when symptom severity is elevated. These “Neural biomarkers” are a specific pattern of brain activity that indicates the onset of symptoms. 

Brain implant treats resistant depression

The group of scientists developed an approach that first used multi-day intracranial electrophysiology and focal electrical stimulation to identify a personalized symptom-specific biomarker and a treatment location where stimulation improved symptoms. They then implanted a chronic deep brain sensing and stimulation device and implemented a biomarker-driven closed-loop therapy in an individual with depression. 

Closed-loop therapy resulted in a rapid and sustained improvement in depression. The patient’s depression symptoms were alleviated almost immediately and lasted over the 15 months they had the implanted device. Future work is required to determine if the results and approach of this n-of-1 study generalize to a broader population.

For the next step, Scangos says, “We need to look at how these circuits vary across patients and repeat this work multiple times. And we need to see whether an individual’s biomarker or brain circuit changes over time as the treatment continues.”

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes. 

Neuro-linguistic Programing is reprograming your nervous system through the use of language.

Neuro-linguistic programming was developed in the 1970s at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Its primary founders are John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, an information scientist and mathematician.

How Neuro-linguistic Programming Works

Modeling, action, and effective communication are key elements of neuro-linguistic programming. The belief is that if an individual can understand how another person accomplishes a task, the process may be copied and communicated to others so they too can accomplish the task. 

Proponents of neuro-linguistic programming propose that everyone has a personal map of reality. Those who practice NLP analyze their own and other perspectives to create a systematic overview of one situation. By understanding a range of perspectives, the NLP user gains information. Advocates of this school of thought believe the senses are vital for processing available information and that the body and mind influence each other. Neuro-linguistic programming is an experiential approach. Therefore, if a person wants to understand an action, they must perform that same action to learn from the experience.

NLP practitioners believe there are natural hierarchies of learning, communication, and change. The six logical levels of change are:

  • Purpose and spirituality: This can be involved in something larger than oneself, such as religion, or another system. This is the highest level of change.
  • Identity: Identity is the person you perceive yourself to be and includes your responsibilities and the roles you play in life.
  • Beliefs and values: These are your personal belief system and the issues that matter to you.
  • Capabilities and skills: These are your abilities and what you can do.
  • Behaviors: Behaviors are the specific actions you perform.
  • Environment: Your environment is your context or setting, including any other people around you. This is the lowest level of change.

The purpose of each logical level is to organize and direct the information below it. As a result, making a change in a lower level may cause changes in a higher level. However, making a change in a higher level will also result in changes in the lower levels, according to NLP theory.

“The map is not the territory,” because it highlights the differences between belief and reality. It points out that each person operates within their own perspective rather than from a place of objectivity. 

Proponents of NLP believe everyone’s perception of the world is distorted, limited, and unique. A therapist who practices NLP must therefore understand how a person in treatment perceives their “map” and the effect this perception may have on that person’s thoughts and behavior. 

NLP technique

Example: A technique attempt to remove negative thoughts and feelings linked to a past event

  • Anchoring: Turning sensory experiences into triggers for certain emotional states.
  • Rapport: The practitioner tunes in to the person by matching their physical behaviors to improve communication and response through empathy.
  • Swish pattern: Changing patterns of behavior or thought to come to a desired instead of an undesired outcome.
  • Visual/kinesthetic dissociation (VKD): Trying to remove negative thoughts and feelings associated with a past event.

NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills. Some advocates of NLP compare the approach to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but assert positive changes may be made with NLP in less time.

Difference between NLP vs. CBT

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), is the practice of understanding how people organize their thinking and language and how this affects behavior. While CBT is focused on managing problems by changing how we think and behave.

Research study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01480-w

Source: https://interestingengineering.com/a-new-brain-implant-relieved-treatment-resistant-depression-in-a-world-first

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/neuro-linguistic-programming

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320368#what-is-nlp

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