West Virginia University scientists are using brain implants to treat opioid addiction

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

The onset of drug addiction is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a person. If left unchecked, the condition can destroy families, careers, and even lives, in the most severe cases.

Unfortunately, many Americans suffer from some form of drug addiction, and existing treatment methods -- while many -- are not always completely effective at stopping future relapses. That's precisely the dilemma West Virginia University medical pros hope to solve with their latest procedure.

The University's Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, according to a recent announcement, is the first in the US to launch a clinical trial that uses "deep brain stimulation" (DBS) to treat patients suffering from "treatment-resistant opioid use disorder."

This form of stimulation aims to target the "reward centers" in the brain, which, while generally beneficial for human development, can become compromised as an addiction (of any kind) manifests itself. In this case, DBS will send a small electrical pulse toward this region of a patient's brain when it detects addiction-related mental behaviors, like drug cravings. In theory, this should act as an interruption to destructive habits or feelings.

We obviously aren't scientists or medical professionals, so we won't speculate about the potential risks that may come with this form of treatment. However, it should be noted that it is not being applied willy-nilly -- the clinical trial in question will only have four patients to start with, and those patients will be carefully screened.

They must have failed various other treatment methods, including medication, psychotherapy, and in-or-outpatient rehab programs. In other words, for the patients selected to participate in this trial, DBS is a last resort.

We do not yet know how effective the treatment will be, but we might find out soon. University doctors have already successfully installed a "Medtronic DBS device" in the addiction and reward center of their trial's first 33-year-old male participant.

With a little luck, his opioid addiction might recede down the line, or perhaps be eliminated entirely -- only time will tell. We wish him, and the doctors involved in this experiment, all the best.

Lead image credit: Shutterstock

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noel24

TS Evangelist
Quoting Dave Chapelle, quoting Nancy Reagan "Just Say No".
Personally, I would say It's all Hugh Laurie 's fault. He made it lookin' so cool.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
It makes sense that WVU is leading the field in this kind of research - West Virginia has been heavily abused by the pill mills and Big Pharma which supplies them. These legitimized dope dealers prey on the poor and disenfranchised and rake in millions from Medicare/Medicaid. Ironically, a lot of the damage was done by irresponsible physicians employed by hospitals owned by WVU. Amazingly, the school now controls the majority of healthcare facilities throughout the state. How this is even legal is beyond comprehension and WVU itself has said that their ravenous buying spree was due to the huge expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance that came with "Obamacare". Nearly half of the WV doctors that are guilty of prescribing opioids excessively did so while working for WVU's massive healthcare division. Some of them are STILL working in WVU-owned facilities.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
If they made all drugs legal, junkies could go out to the middle of nowhere and grow their own crops. Prisons would lose money, big pharm would lose money and insurance companies would lose money. Crime would leave the cities. Police could start focusing on more important matters.

Hah I wonder what it would be like if we used all the labor cities pay for landscaping to grow free food\drugs. Probably lotsa poo on the streets.
 
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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
If they made all drugs legal, junkies could go out to the middle of nowhere and grow their own crops. Prisons would lose money, big pharm would lose money and insurance companies would lose money. Crime would leave the cities. Police could start focusing on more important matters.

Hah I wonder what it would be like if we used all the labor cities pay for landscaping to grow free food\drugs. Probably lotsa poo on the streets.
Because making alcohol legal fixed humanity by doing this? No more drunk driving or bar fights... How wonderful it has been. ;)
 

Karlos95

TS Booster
If they made all drugs legal, junkies could go out to the middle of nowhere and grow their own crops. Prisons would lose money, big pharm would lose money and insurance companies would lose money. Crime would leave the cities. Police could start focusing on more important matters.

Hah I wonder what it would be like if we used all the labor cities pay for landscaping to grow free food\drugs. Probably lotsa poo on the streets.
Exactly. Starts with politician's pockets and then everyone that profits down the line. None of them actually care about the health of other humans (some don't even care for animals - with some of the crap they make for pets)

Legalise MJ and most of the opioid problems will cease to exist and take out probably half of the medication Big Pharma profit from.

You say all drugs but I can't agree on that. Most drugs I don't mind, however, some are just stupid and shouldn't even be experimented with such as ice or meth. They send people loopy.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Because making alcohol legal fixed humanity by doing this? No more drunk driving or bar fights... How wonderful it has been. ;)
If you could distill your own liquor you wouldn't have to drive anywhere. ^^. It's just why don't they just leave people alone instead of these complex expensive methods that only seem to line pockets.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Exactly. Starts with politician's pockets and then everyone that profits down the line. None of them actually care about the health of other humans (some don't even care for animals - with some of the crap they make for pets)

Legalise MJ and most of the opioid problems will cease to exist and take out probably half of the medication Big Pharma profit from.

You say all drugs but I can't agree on that. Most drugs I don't mind, however, some are just stupid and shouldn't even be experimented with such as ice or meth. They send people loopy.
Because making alcohol legal fixed humanity by doing this? No more drunk driving or bar fights... How wonderful it has been. ;)
If you could distill your own liquor you wouldn't have to drive anywhere jk kinda. It's just why don't they just leave people alone instead of these complex expensive methods that only seem to line pockets. Well those loopy people usually only effect others when they are trying to get more drugs. If they let people make their own for better or worse, it might work be a better solution. Just keep the explosions outside ^^

Really probably best to keep crazy stimulants out the mix. Then you have like ridalin or whatever it is they give kids..? Interestingly enough, lookup "pep pills", the military has been giving people meth for over 100 years?

If you look at experiments where a rat chooses drugs over food, that mouse is in a cage, what the hell else does it have to do. It's like how much of a problem would these people be if we didn't make them a problem.

Does it just come down to the fact that they won't be good worker bees?
 
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