Deep brain stimulation may improve memory
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, which is used to treat Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, is now being studied for its potential to treat a variety of conditions. For example, DBS of the hypothalamus has been used to treat cluster headaches and aggressiveness in humans, and stimulating this area influences feeding behavior in animals.
A new study found that hypothalamic DBS performed in the treatment of a patient with morbid obesity unexpectedly evoked detailed autobiographical memories. The study will be published online in the Annals of Neurology, the official journal of the American Neurological Association.
Led by Andres Lozano, Professor of Neurosurgery and Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience and his team at the Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, researchers conducted an experimental study to treat a 50-year-old man with a lifelong history of obesity in whom a variety of treatment approaches had failed. While they were identifying potential appetite suppressant sites in the hypothalamus by stimulating electrode contacts that had been implanted there, the patient suddenly experienced a feeling of "d