The application of neurostimulation techniques such as deep brain
stimulation (DBS)—often called a brain pacemaker for neurological
conditions like Parkinson's disease (PD)—has generated
“currents of hope.” Building on this hope, there is
significant interest in applying neurostimulation to psychiatric disorders
such as major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These
emerging neurosurgical practices raise a number of important ethical and
social questions in matters of resource allocation, informed consent for
vulnerable populations, and commercialization of research.
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