Questions for ‘Zapping the brain may make it work right again’

nerve cells

Deep brain stimulation can fix problems with how individual brain cells move signals and help our minds interpret the world around us.

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To accompany feature “Zapping the brain may make it work right again” 


Before Reading:

1.  How do neurons in the brain signal, or communicate, with one another? 

2.  What happens to someone when neurons can’t communicate? List any diseases or brain disorders that might result from cell signaling problems.

During Reading

1.  How is deep brain stimulation powered?

2.  What factors must be correct for deep brain stimulation to work? List them.

3.  Parkinson’s disease is called a “movement disorder.” What does that mean? 

4.  How can deep brain stimulation help someone with Parkinson’s disease?

5.  What are some behaviors of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD?

6.  What treatments have helped some people with OCD? List any drawbacks of the treatments. How many patients with OCD are not helped by those treatments?

7.  What’s the biggest change in OCD patients treated with deep brain stimulation? What other positive changes occur?

8.  How many people with OCD had fewer symptoms after deep brain stimulation?

9.  Has deep brain stimulation been an effective treatment for patients with severe depression? What changes in the procedure have led to improved results?

10.  What additional form of treatment for depression gives positive results when combined with deep brain stimulation?

After Reading:

1. Why would a patient undergo deep brain stimulation if it’s not a permanent fix for a brain disorder?

2. Do some research and find out how many people in your nation have depression. What are the symptoms of this disease and what is known about how long the symptoms last? After reading the story, would you advise a family member with serious depression to consider deep-brain stimulation if their disease had not been helped by other treatments? Explain your reasoning.