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February 2011




Archive for February 1st, 2011

Girl on Swing

Tuesday, 1st February, 2011.

Press Assoc.

A three-year-old girl who suffered from severe epilepsy is recovering at home after undergoing rare life-changing surgery which involved “switching off” the right side of her brain.

Eleanor Ashton needed the six-hour operation after suffering daily fits which left her with behavioural issues and caused her to be disruptive in school.

He parents Mark and Natalie, both GPs from Barnsley, hope the fits will stop after epilepsy surgeon Dev Bhattacharyya conducted the operation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

After a normal birth, Eleanor developed a cyst on the right side of her brain which caused bleeding. As the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, doctors felt this was the cause of the fits and recommended her for the new surgery technique after other treatments failed.

He mother Natalie said: “She was a very sleepy baby. My friend had a little girl the same age who was smiling and interacting, but Eleanor was not.

“I thought she would do it in her own time, but after four months I noticed she wasn’t looking to her left and I knew something was wrong.”

The epilepsy had left her with behavioural issues, she was disruptive in school and did not like personal contact. She also had learning difficulties as each daily seizure removed anything she had learned previously.

Although Eleanor is always likely to have some level of learning difficulty, her father said he was delighted with the operation: “The surgeon said it was a massive job and we had to accept the risk of a stroke or death, but without it, Eleanor wouldn’t have lived to a ripe old age and would have suffered seizures every day.

“In the last couple of months since the op, she hasn’t had a single fit. She’s learning to play peek-a-boo and connecting with people. Before the operation she hadn’t learned anything.”

Eleanor spent 11 days in hospital, including two on the high dependency unit before being allowed home. As the operation was carried out when she was so young, the left side of her brain will now be able take over the functions normally performed by the right side.

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20110201/tuk-girl-has-life-changing-epilepsy-op-6323e80.html

First Published 24th January, 2011.

A grandmother who had a long battle with depression has become the first person in the world to benefit from life-changing neurosurgical treatment.

Sheila Cook, from Torquay in Devon, suffered from depression for more than a decade and attempted to take her life on more than one occasion.

The 62-year-old is now beginning to enjoy life again after pioneering treatment, which accurately targets brains networks involved in depression, was offered to her in Bristol.

Mrs Cook – whose illness had stopped responding to conventional treatments – was offered deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the first trial in the world that stimulates two different brain networks that are involved in depression.

Although DBS provided some temporary response, she relapsed and went on to be the first to have further advanced stereotactic neurosurgery, which was carried out in early 2010.

Mrs Cook said: “The effects were remarkable. Within a few weeks my life changed. I read books, did the housework, went for walks and, perhaps most importantly, got to know my family again.”

Leading the research is Dr Andrea Malizia, consultant senior lecturer in the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Mr Nikunj Patel, senior clinical lecturer in the Department of Neurosurgery at North Bristol NHS Trust.

In February 2010, Mrs Cook was asked if she would trial a new form of treatment – Anterior Cingulotomy using implantable guide tubes (GTAC), which was developed in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.

Mrs Cook is the first patient to have received DBS and GTAC treatments.

Dr Malizia said: “Mrs Cook has been the first patient in the world to have these two treatments. I’m very pleased to see the second treatment has worked well for her and has been maintained.”

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20110124/thl-new-treatment-helps-beat-depression-d831572.html

Toward the Sun

Christian Fleischhaker email, Renate Bohme email, Barbara Sixt email, Christiane Bruck email, Csilla Schneider email and Eberhard Schulz email

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2011, 5:3doi:10.1186/1753-2000-5-3

Published: 28 January 2011

Abstract (provisional)


To date, there are no empirically validated treatments of good quality for adolescents showing suicidality and non-suicidal self-injurious behavior. Risk factors for suicide are impulsive and non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, depression, conduct disorders and child abuse. Behind this background, we tested the main hypothesis of our study; that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents is an effective treatment for these patients.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has been developed by Marsha Linehan – especially for the outpatient treatment of chronically non-suicidal patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The modified version of DBT for Adolescents (DBT-A) from Rathus & Miller has been adapted for a 16-24 week outpatient treatment in the German-speaking area by our group. The efficacy of treatment was measured by a pre-/ post- comparison and a one-year follow-up with the aid of standardized instruments (SCL-90-R, CBCL, YSR, ILC, CGI).


In the pilot study, 12 adolescents were treated. At the beginning of therapy, 83 % of patients fulfilled five or more DSM-IV criteria for borderline personality disorder. From the beginning of therapy to one year after its end, the mean value of these diagnostic criteria decreased significantly from 5.8 to 2.75. 75 % of patients were kept in therapy. For the behavioral domains according to the SCL-90-R and YSR, we have found effect sizes between 0.54 and 2.14. During treatment, non-suicidal self-injurious behavior reduced significantly. Before the start of therapy, 8 of 12 patients had attempted suicide at least once. There were neither suicidal attempts during treatment with DBT-A nor at the one-year follow-up.


The promising results suggest that the interventions were well accepted by the patients and their families, and were associated with improvement in multiple domains including suicidality, non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, emotion dysregulation and depression from the beginning of therapy to the one-year follow-up.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

Source: http://www.capmh.com/content/5/1/3