On September 6, 2012 Master Vincent Wight underwent deep brain stimulation surgery. Deep brain
stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain
pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses, through implanted electrodes, to specific parts of the brain
(brain nucleus) for the treatment of movement and affective disorders. DBS in select brain regions has
provided therapeutic benefits for otherwise-treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as
Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, chronic pain, major depression and obsessive–compulsive
disorder (OCD). Despite the long history of DBS, its underlying principles and mechanisms are still not clear.
DBS directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner, its effects are reversible (unlike those of
lesioning techniques), and it is one of only a few neurosurgical methods that allow blinded studies.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved DBS as a treatment for essential tremor in 1997, for
Parkinson's disease in 2002, dystonia in 2003, and OCD in 2009. DBS is also used in research studies to
treat chronic pain and has been used to treat various affective disorders, including major depression;
neither of these applications of DBS have yet been FDA-approved.