Inserting a Small Electrode in Brain to Treat Alcoholism


Drinking sometimes causes drastic problems, if it becomes a compulsion for a person then – it takes precedence over all other activities. It can remain undetected for several years. Same thing happened with the man named “Sathyamangalam”

Sathyamangalam is the patient, a businessman he first came to the hospital five years ago for alcohol de-addiction treatment. Doctors at Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital who performed the surgery three weeks ago. A deep brain stimulation to treat alcohol addiction has been performed in city hospital, Coimbatore. In this operation Docters insert a small electrode connected to a pace maker into a deep part of the brain called nucleus accumbence. As the patient was a severe alcoholic, is recovering well and has not requested for a sip of alcohol after the operation.

Dr Saravanan is a KMCH psychiatrist as treating the patient from 2013 said that “We did a lot of counselling and even referred him to de-addiction programmes at Kasturba Gandhi De-addiction Centre and TTK De-addiction Centre in Chennai. He kept relapsing even with anti-booze medicines.

Dr Arulselvan is a neurosurgeon said that “Sathyamangalam” in 2017, with his family again approached doctors at KMCH when his hands developed shivering, had uncontrolled movement of lips, memory loss and loss of sensation in the hands and legs. “Chronic and severe alcoholism can start damaging nerves, because it is a psychoactive substance that depresses the nervous system,”  That was when the hospital’s neurosurgeons, who had been performing deep brain stimulation surgeries to treat Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia, considered the same method to treat the patient’s alcoholism.

“Deep brain stimulation to treat the above conditions is commonly performed across the country,” said Dr Arulselvan. As the procedure included creating a small opening in the brain and an opening below the shoulder.

Dr S Arulselvan said that “The three-hour procedure included placing a small 1 cm long electrode in the nucleus accumbence. The electrode is connected with a thin wire to the pacemaker which is placed beneath a patient’s shoulder.”

And further added that “The pacemaker constantly sends electric signals to the electrode, which stimulates chemical secretion by the brain, especially serotonin which is responsible for giving the person a sense of well-being.”

(AUD) or Alcoholism, alcohol use disorder , many times drinking of alcohol results in mental and even health problems. Alcoholism directly connects to the inability to manage drinking habits also known as alcoholic disorder. Alcohol use disorder is organized into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. Each category has various symptoms and have harmful side effects, if left untreated, in any type. Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, Some signs and symptoms of alcoholism, as well as alcohol abuse, are as following:

  • Drinking all alone.
  • Drinking in secret.
  • Drinking much and not being able to limit how much alcohol is consumed.
  • Not being able to remember chunks of time- Blacking out.
  • Having rituals and being irritated/annoyed mainly before/during/after meals, or after work.
  • Dropping or losing interest hobbies and activities the person used to enjoy
  • Craving – a strong need to drink
  • Feeling irritable when drinking times approach.
  • Having stashes of alcohol in unlikely places.
  • Gulping drinks down in order to get drunk and then feel good.
  • May have relationship problems (triggered by drinking).
  • Can have problems with the law (caused by drinking).
  • Having work problems (caused by drinking, or drinking as root cause).
  • Money problems is the most (caused by drinking).
  • Requiring a larger quantity of alcohol to feel its effect.
  • Nausea, sweating, or even shaking when not drinking.


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