Recent developments in neural science have shone a ray of optimism on individuals suffering with high levels of depression. The latest technology on the horizon involves implanting sensors under the skull which release tiny electrode pulses that target specific parts of the brain.
Patients who undergo the electrode therapy report feeling more alert and poised after treatment, and the technology is also being used for patients who have epilepsy.
In a recent edition of Current Biology, researchers are moving full steam ahead with the ambition of being able to implant a sensor that will detect the on-coming of a depressive episode and will react accordingly, zapping the brain out of its negative associative patterns.
This new kind of treatment has entered the realms of possibility as scientists are starting to fully map out the brain and thus are getting closer to identifying where exactly depression ‘occurs’ in the brain.
In the past, depression was seen more as a “chemical imbalance” where adding more of what was ‘missing’ would restore a patient to better mental health. Now, researchers have switched to a circuit-inspired framework and argue that when different parts of the brain change the way they interact with each other, this can lead a person into a state of depression.
Medics and Psychologists would be wise to explore the science surrounding depression and the various treatments on offer to patients. Being able to talk about state-of-the-art medical practices will show your research skills and make your personal statement or interview really stand out!