Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit | dghughes's comments login

I saw this on 60 Minutes I'm amazed this isn't worldwide front page news. Especially just for treating addiction alone. Basically sit in a machine get your head buzzed by ultrasound. All better.

Careful, that was literally the exact same selling point of Electroconvulsive therapy 80 years ago.

So...there's a distinction:

Electroshock therapy for behavioral modification in schools: bad

Modern Electroconvulsive therapy under anesthesia: actually effective and arguably lifesaving for severe clinical depression.


> Electroshock therapy for behavioral modification in schools: bad

Is that just violent punishment / torture by another name?


Yes, that's why it was banned in Massachusetts, if I recall, there were state schools/institutions that were using it way back when.

Shocking!

In Massachusetts? Not sure I'd use that word. Look up the Fernald Institute.

Lack of human experiments and anesthesia

If you've got a better treatment for a case of severe depression that's resisted all other attempts at therapy and medication, we're all ears.

If not, I suggest we leave it up to the patients and their doctors to determine whether or not ECT is improving their lives, or not.


SAINT protocol tCMS from Magnus Medical https://www.magnusmed.com/

Not available to everyone yet.


ECT therapy is AWESOME. It can treat depression and mood disorders, and it can help with severe epilepsy.

It was falsely maligned in the "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", because it can _look_ upsetting. However, even when it was done without anesthesia, it caused amnesia so patients didn't remember the procedure itself.


I have someone in my family history that underwent electroshock therapy, and by all accounts was only traumatized and destabilized further by the ordeal. YMMV, I guess.

I remember reading the comparison, that all modern psychiatric treatments can be thought of as banging a misbehaving car engine with a hammer.

Sometimes it helps, if the hammer is hitting just the right place. Often it does nothing, letting the underlying disease to progress. And in distressingly many cases, it can harm patients.

This absolutely applies to the ECT.


So because the patient cannot recall the traumatic events, they're not thought to be experiencing that trauma, or taking lasting effect from it?

Yep.

That's also how dissociative sedation works. You don't remember being sedated, and you are not (psychologically) traumatized by medical procedures happening during it. I had it several times for minor oral surgeries, and it's great.

And the modern ECT is also done under deep sedation.


How long after the event do you think it makes sense for this erasure to happen? Like, let's say that you are going to experience something absolutely traumatic but you know next week you won't remember it... is that also ok?

Yes? You are basically describing every surgery.

Not really though. Surgery typically uses anaesthesia that makes you not experience it in the first place, which is different than forgetting the trauma.

I don't think the human memory is well understood enough to say for sure whether consciously forgetting something means that there aren't still effects of your body having experienced the trauma in the first place. The mind, it would seem, goes deeper than conscious recollection, and perhaps beyond the brain.

Plenty of children abused before they can remember it still have exhibited signs of harm from the trauma.


Yes, those are taken far too lightly as well.

I'm reminded of this particularly beautiful TED Talk... https://www.ted.com/talks/sherwin_nuland_how_electroshock_th...

Low citation on the original paper, none of the paper that cite Rezai's paper have citations.

Also I think the big originators of FUS thalamotomy/pallidotomy were Bob Gross from Emory and Jeff something something at UVA

it happens to diplomats in Cuba all the time!

ok you made me laugh

I didn't watch the video, but I assume it is not just ultrasound, but a very focused beam / beams of ultrasound in combination with MRI to hit just the right spot.

ultrasound is used to temporarily open the blood brain barrier so that drugs can target plaque buildups

That's quite a different mechanism.

More of a dystopian nightmare. Rather than seeing an individual having agency to make decisions and face consequences … we may be moving to a model of a human as nothing more than a fancy automaton. Ohh so Mr Jim is showing addictive traits and not performing task X well. No problem let’s sap his brain and get him fixed up.

Super excited for any breakthroughs with Dementia … but fixing addiction, obesity… or even paranoid wrong think with ultrasounds is scary and perhaps harks back to the era of lobotomies.


Have you ever considered that nothing is wrong with you because nothing is wrong with you, and not that nothing is wrong with you because you are some stoic or heroic figure who managed to simply resist temptation?

I've been drunk plenty of times. I've also not consumed enough alcohol to be in a drunken state in almost 8 years despite having a collection of bourbon worth thousands. A good friend of mine, who drank no more than I did for a long while, could not stop. He kept going until he wrecked his liver and died from organ failure.

I didn't have the strength to overcome alcoholism. I was simply never an alcoholic. He was.


Indeed, I am not better than chain smokers, I just happen to be wired differently that it does not have a grip on me. It’s not like something I deserve.

Chocolate on the other hand…


It seems you could do this with any technological/medical advancement - how is this any different from semaglutide for obesity or wellbutrin for addiction? It's just a different lever to pull.

Harkening back to lobotomies is a false dichotomy, the environment in which research is done today wouldn't even allow for an outcome like that.


I disagree. It's a fair concern.

They are literally shaking small parts of the brain until they act differently. It's not as extreme as a lobotomy but its lobotomy adjacent and a little scary.

Sure, unlike a lobotomy it probably just jostling areas of the brain and not damaging entire sections with an icepick, but it's still fair to accept that some people (like myself) feel automatic body horror and fear at the idea of parts of my brain being damaged.


If my life were ruined and I was dying from alcoholism or drug addiction I get the feeling I probably wouldn't be thinking about this in a philosophical way. Societal impacts or potential abuses would be the least of my concerns.

How about this scenario: In 20 years, this treatment is standard, but there's a catch: it's bundled with a wider behavioral modification treatment protocol, whereby they first reduce the cravings for drugs and alcohol, then they start showing you anti-establishment imagery, and zap the parts of your brain that respond to it.

In fact the second treatment is also standard issue for all those who are diagnosed with oppositionism, a growing mental health disorder characterized by symptoms such as distrusting government authorities and forbes 500 companies. Treatments show a 90% reduction of symptoms and improving quality of life, for example they no longer clash with authorities or make hate statements as defined by the patriot act II of 2028.

Obviously an exaggeration, but there is a real concern. The line is blurry and will be crossed if we let it happen. Taking intravenous drugs for 20 years does some serious damage. It's nice if we develop a treatment for it, but it also shifts the focus away from prevention. People shouldn't be reaching that point, and wouldn't if we were acting on it.


It's not really a blurry line. "They" could require you to take antipsychotic pills when you renew your driver license. "They" could chemically castrate you when you register to vote and select the wrong party affiliation. But they can't, because in the US patients can refuse treatment.

Panicking about new treatments because "they" might someday bundle them with other treatments isn't particularly effective, because you can just decline the treatments you don't want. The days of no-oversight asshole doctors drilling holes in people for being weird are conscripted to the past. If patient rights to refuse treatment are destroyed, then sure, freak out all you want.

Meanwhile, research is not a zero-sum game. Treatments and prevention can be, and are, worked on in parallel, often by people with wildly different research backgrounds. Specifically, the resources and personnel involved are not fungible. Discouraging field A because you'd rather have someone work on field B doesn't necessarily mean anyone will work on field B, it just guarantees you don't make progress in field A.


Especially if the alternative is cold turkey, or a good old DT... All my heartfelt deep thanks to everyone who keeps digging for solutions, workarounds... anything that might help there.

No, that's fair, my stance very much was from the viewpoint of a generically healthy mind and not from the viewpoint of a damaged mind.

If I were in that position I might seriously consider the value of having 99% of me make it to the other side of this misery in exchange for the 1% of my brain that is ruining my life.


> They are literally shaking small parts of the brain until they act differently.

No, from what other comments have said, they are using ultrasound to open the blood/brain barrier so that drugs can enter the affected area. They aren't indiscriminately shaking the patient's brain and hoping for the best.


My issue is more with framing it as a lobotomy analogue when in reality the similarity ends at them both being brain procedures. My read is that this is more akin to something like rehabilitation in that previously damaged tissue is being worked on to improve function.

With regards to the body horror thing, that is legitimate and there is the possibility that we look back on this in 20 years like we do with lobotomy. I personally think it's unlikely considering the differences in how research is regulated compared to the past.

In general I think we need to reframe how we look at medical treatments. Changing the brain is literally the point - it's dysfunctional. Whether that be through physical manipulation like this or via pharmacology, something HAS to change functionally or there will be no difference. Until the point that we have nano robots carrying out bodily processes for us it's on our brain and body to adapt to whatever environmental stress it's exposed to, for better (exercising improving health for example) and for worse(trauma causing increased likelihood of addiction etc). This treatment is no different from anything else, all that matters is the positive or negative reaction.


Something tells me you are wholly unaware of the damage that addiction and obesity can inflict not just on the person afflicted, but on their family, community, and society as a whole. The benefits/costs equation is so massively lopsided here that you'd be cruel to advocate that people endure years of avoidable torment to satisfy your faulty notion of free will / agency. I can't think of anything more agency-promoting than ridding someone of their addictions.

What line would you draw between the technology existing and being useful to society and people's fundamental and inalienable right to refuse ever having it used on them?

Following their original thread, how would you feel if the government decided that this could be used for criminal correction, or if a company made going through a quick brain cleanse a part of the hiring process, or a college part of it's onboarding, or the military a part of boot camp?

Do we clean every spot to flawless similarity or just clean the bad thoughts?

If the latter, who gets to decide what the bad thoughts are?


Your argument is akin to being against needles because the government might use them to perform lethal injections.

I don't know if you've ever known any addicts, but they aren't exactly happy about being addicted. Give them a treatment that works and is affordable and most of them will be just happy to get some targeted head buzzing to treat their symptoms.


There is a similarity but I don't think it's quite 1:1. Both of your reference points are an order of magnitude weaker or stronger than mine.

As I've said in other responses, my viewpoint is coming from the viewpoint of a generally healthy mind and not wanting that to be taken from me.

If I become someone with an unhealthy mind my viewpoint could change.


Hysterical scaremongering which masquerades as lucid, rational thought doesn't go very far here.

Once again, an order of magnitude more than the reality. My response was not by any but the thinnest stretched imagination "hysterical scaremongering"

Your real problem is with the state, not with technology.

The word hashtag has almost become a pejorative word. People seem to use like "hashtag whatever" as a taunt.

It's like the word karma has become tainted because people only use it to mean something bad as a taunt to someone. In Hindu there is good and bad karma like yin and yang.


For all he's trying it may just boil down to his genetics. I've known heavy smokers who outlived their wife and children. You often see on the news Centenarians say they drank whisky each day, or eat bacon, or pray, or whatever.

From my experience other than the obvious to be active, eat healthy (I don't see vegan as healthy, but vegetarian yes), consistent sleep being social is a big boost to people's lives. By being social I mean meet other people than your own family immediate family.


She said this:.

Marva Watkins in Chicago, Illinois, writes: What is your real last name?

Marilyn responds: It's "vos Savant," which was my mother's maiden name and is my own legal name. (My mother's maiden name is just as real as my father's boyhood name.) My maternal grandfather was Giuseppe vos Savant. Coincidentally, he married a woman named Maria Savant, my maternal grandmother. Growing up, I never thought about "Savant" being a word, too. I'm sure that people with the name "Miller" don't think about it, either! By the way, my mother changed her surname to my father's surname when she got married, which was traditional at the time. I use her name, and my brother uses his name.

https://parade.com/418148/marilynvossavant/marilyns-surname/


A bit apt. Toenails can be hard to get at when you're old.

I've been keeping a food diary since Nov 2014. It started off as a reminder to myself to eat better and fewer calories. I don't want to break the chain I even recorded my meals during over a week of no power after hurricane Fiona.

Here's my supper on day 1 if anyone is curious lol (note format is: day, month, year)

Saturday 01/11/2014 Beans, Baked, molasses and pork

Saturday 01/11/2014 Rice, Basmati, 1 cup

Saturday 01/11/2014 Pop, Orange cream, 355ml

Also my exercise inadvertently became a memory tool for me as well. Since being diagnosed with hypothyroid I noticed that my short-memory was not great. So this is a way to force myself to remember things I did today. Stuff I'd normally dismiss as unneeded info and clear it from my mind.


I did this for a few years. I started off listing component volumes and mass etc. Towards the end I was just noting “good” or “bad” (like how I thought I went) on a calendar, then not even consistently.

I learned that this is how much of my approach to life works: Zeal followed by a gradual decline into indifference.


Do you retain after effects on behavior from the zeal phase?

It truly is just a modern day Clippy.

Hardly. Clippy was hated because he interrupted you with unhelpful suggestions. I played around with the Leo thing a little bit and it never interrupts you; actually I had to dig through the UI a bit to figure out how to activate it at all.

Anyway, now that this sort of technology exists, Microsoft is missing a great opportunity to bring back clippy and cash in on some nostalgia. I miss that lil guy.


A Canadian Tire TFSA ??? WTF? lol

You can get a bank account at the grocer, PC Financial at Loblaws, so why not.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President%27s_Choice_Financial


Obviously just call the totally normal support number shown 1 800 111 112 /s

> the Odysseus lander will eject the EagleCam camera-equipped CubeSat, which will drop onto the lunar surface near the lander

So the first non-government device to land on moon will be viewed trying to land by a device also non-government (but part of the lander) that lands on the moon first? I guess that evens out.


Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: