Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, is a form of surgery that places electrodes in the patient's brain – in this case, in self-control and pleasure centers. An external device sends electrical impulses to interrupt the typical behavior of the patient's brain, such as a drug addict craving a drug or an obsessive obsessive disorder that the patient desires to perform a ritual. In the case of drug treatment, impulses are likely to train the patient's brain to no longer crave medication. "Addiction is a brain disease involving brain reward centers. We need to explore new technologies, such as the use of DBS, to help those most affected by opioid use disorders," says Ali Rezai, MD, principal investigator and Executive Director Chairman of RNI. DBS has already been approved by the FDA and is being used to treat Parkinson's disease, major depressive disorder and epilepsy among others and has shown promising results.
West Virginia has the highest age-adjusted rate for opioid overdose deaths, according to the RNI, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that overdose deaths involving opiates in the state have occurred at a rate of 49. 6 deaths per 1