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Advances in modern medicine have changed the fate of humanity forever; and as a species, we are in our infancy stages of medical and technological knowledge. Afflictions that would have completely debilitated, or even killed individuals are now common cures for medical professionals. A common, multi-functional example of these advances is referred to DBS, or deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical procedure involving implanting a medical device called a neurostimulator, or sometimes referred to as a ‘brain pacemaker’ into the patient’s brain. The neurostimulator sends electrical impulses through implanted electrodes to specific targets in the brain for the treatment of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. Despite the long history; its fundamental principles, mechanisms, and potential uses of DBS are still not clear.
History
According to Sironi in 2011, Ugo Cerletti first introduced electroshock in 1938 as the first of its kind application of brain stimulation for the treatment of severe psychosis. Cerletti applied an electric current on the skull, which evoked an epileptic seizure that roughly remodeled the neural connections, providing a quantifiable improvement to the patients. This was not without opposition, however; nonetheless this method had a more solid foundation than any other research of its kind.
Then, in as early as 1950, brain stimulation was investigated and used for pain control. It yielded positive results through temporary electrodes implanted into brain regions. These studies were the basis that led to the development of new techniques of neurostimulation, such as deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and cortical brain stimulation.
Concurrently, Ernst Spiegel and Henry Wycis modified the original stereotactic frame apparatus of Clarke and Horsley. Using pneumoencephalography, a radiographic technique (now primarily superseded) for examining the brain, experimenters and neurosurgeons were able to determine the coordinates of structures around ventricles of the basal ganglia in order to detect the precise localization of the targets that needed to be lesioned by radiofrequency. During operation, these electrically stimulated structures were systematically used for the exploration and the localization of the deep cerebral nuclei and for confirming target. These observations led to the notion that these stimulations of deep cerebral nuclei could be used not only as a method for diagnostic purposes, but also as a therapeutic method itself.

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