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February 2011



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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

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