About this Research Topic
To date more than eighty thousand patients worldwide have received deep brain stimulation (DBS), mainly in order to alleviate symptoms of treatment-resistant disorders such as tremor associated with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, chronic pain, epilepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, major depression and Tourette syndrome. The number of indications for neurological and psychiatric conditions using this technology is rapidly increasing, raising important societal and ethical issues that cannot be dealt with by scientists and clinicians on their own, but need discussions among all possible stakeholders on questions such as: what are the comprehensive risks and benefits of this technology? what is the real impact on patients’ life, in terms of health, quality of life and personal identity?
This Research Topic provides an overview of potentials and limitations of deep brain stimulation as used to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions, bringing together Mini Reviews, Perspectives and Opinion papers from key stakeholders interested in the development and social impact of this technology. It is also a continuation of the debate that started among scientists, clinicians, patients, sociologists, journalists, philosophers and other experts during the “brains in dialogue on deep brain stimulation” workshop that was organized in September 2010 in Warsaw, Poland, by the FP7 project bid – brains in dialogue (www.neuromedia.eu) coordinated by the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of SISSA (Trieste, Italy).
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