today in "zapping your brain-meats" news

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

In VNS a two-inch diameter, .25 inch thick disk is surgically tucked under the skin near the left collarbone, then wired upward to the vagus nerve in the neck. The battery-operated disk delivers intermittent, rhythmic pulses to the nerve -- whose name means "wandering" in Latin -- that reaches a half dozen areas of the brain critical to treating depression, according to Dr. Darin Dougherty of Massachusetts General Hospital.

The implanted disc is programmed and reprogrammed with a wand held over the skin. Data on each patient about the intensity and frequency of the pulse and device settings is stored in individual memory cards slotted into in a handheld computer linked to the wand.

Researchers know the treatment stimulates norepinephrine and serotonin centers, now treated with pharma at a tepid success rate, and increases blood flow and neuron activity. But they candidly say they don't fully understand why VNS works.

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13 Responses:

  1. jonquil says:

    Actually, the technology has not worked as well as promised; the New York Times had a long article on it within the last year.

  2. alex_victory says:

    Wow, not much farther to go before we have full-fledged zone implants, as in Donaldson's Gap series.

  3. ivan_ghandhi says:

    Wow. This reminds me. In the '80-ies, in the USSR, "scientists" tried to solve the problem of getting dolphins to go to the target. You know, the same thing as USCS has been working on. A guy whom I knew solved the problem. His solution was to wire the "pleasure center", and send a "positive signal" every time the dolphin does it. They get easily hooked on being suicide bombers.

    Now imagine these wireless zombies, with their 2" wireless clits doing all the Big Buddy tells them to do.

  4. baconmonkey says:

    and how long until we see the kinder, happier, EXTRA CYBER JWZ?

  5. mackys says:

    Seven Of Nine surrenders.

  6. nightrider says:

    "I'll teach you to be happy...

    I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!"

  7. Researching depression treatments are we?.....

    Soooo, you been feeling ok lately??

    • sherbooke says:

      See also disturbed sleep patterns possibly? Ummm. Been there, done that, got several tee-shirts. It ain't pretty. Get thee to a quack, JWZ.

  8. ncongrunt says:

    I can't help but think of how this can be horribly abused. The thing is programmed using a "wand", probably meaning weak RF signal. Imagine someone abusing this technology to wirelessly manipulate and reprogram this thing implanted in someone to suddenly send them into depression or fits of rage or any number of disastrous states.

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