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Surprising Science

Surgery Cures Depression

A British nurse who had a long battle with depression has become the first person in the world to benefit from life-changing neurosurgery.

Sheila Cook, 62, suffered for more than a decade with debilitating depression which left her suicidal and often unable to feed or cloth herself. But now the grandmother is beginning to enjoy life again after pioneering treatment was offered to her in Bristol. The treatment accurately targets brain networks involved in depression. Mrs Cook — whose illness had stopped responding to conventional treatments such as antidepressants — went on to be the first to have an “anterior cingulotomy”. She says her life has changed and she feels happy for the first time in 10 years.


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