The process, which is currently being trialled in eight patients, involves the use of electrons which are implanted into the brain through holes which are drilled in the skull, which then emit small amounts of electricity to stimulate or halt activity in certain areas of the brain.
The very first patient to undergo the treatment was 62 year old Shelia Cook from Torquay, who had been suffering with severe depression for nine years and who at her lowest reported wanting to end her life.
Shelia’s first set of electron implants only had a short term benefit, so she returned for a second operation know as ablative surgery in the hope it would further improve her condition.
“I suddenly woke up in the morning and I thought I feel different, I want to get up, I want to do things. And my whole view of life changed.” She said.
The research team hopes that in the future, the method of deep brain stimulation could eventually replace ablative surgery. Results from the further seven patients on trial will be published later on this year.