What’s next for DBS? Weight loss, Alzheimer’s

Deep brain stimulation surgery is quickly becoming the hot new treatment for an ever-widening array of ailments. Initially approved for treatment of motion disorders such as essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, it was exciting to see the technology applied to other problems, such as epilepsy. Discussion then turned to using DBS for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Since then, we’ve seen the buzz building around DBS for depression. Humanitarian exemptions have been granted for DBS to treat severe Tourette’s. 

This morning’s mail brings word of efforts in Canada to extend DBS to people with weight-management problems, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Makes me wonder about how DBS might be used by otherwise normal people seeking a cognitive edge, like those who take the ADD drugs.