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Scientists: An experimental technique for combating severe depression,

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Scientists: An experimental technique for combating severe depression,  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 04:33
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Scientists: An experimental technique for combating severe depression, deep-brain stimulation (DBS) demonstrates much promise for the long-term treatment of chronic depression. In a recent experiment, electrodes were implanted into the brains of six patients who had not responded to any currently approved treatment for depression. When an electrical current to the electrodes was switched on, four of the patients reported feeling a dramatic reduction of depressive symptoms. The depressive symptoms returned when the current was switched off.

Which of the following, if true, best supports the scientist's claim of the promising potential usage of DBS?


A. The electrode implanted during deep-brain stimulation can only be activated in a hospital setting.

B. The other two patients reported a slight reduction of depressive symptoms when the current on their electrodes was activated.

C. The operation to implant the electrodes poses a high risk of brain hemorrhage, infection or seizure.

D. In a subsequent experiment, a one hour treatment the electrodes produced sustained remission from depression in the four patients for six months.

E. Deep-brain stimulation relies on the expertise of highly skilled physicians.

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Scientists: An experimental technique for combating severe depression,  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 04:23
Scientists: An experimental technique for combating severe depression, deep-brain stimulation (DBS) demonstrates much promise for the long-term treatment of chronic depression. In a recent experiment, electrodes were implanted into the brains of six patients who had not responded to any currently approved treatment for depression. When an electrical current to the electrodes was switched on, four of the patients reported feeling a dramatic reduction of depressive symptoms. The depressive symptoms returned when the current was switched off.

Which of the following, if true, best supports the scientist's claim of the promising potential usage of DBS?

Question Type: Strengthen
Premises/Supporting Details: A recent experiment showed 4/6 patients reporting reduced depressive symptoms. Symptoms returned post-experiment.
Conclusion: DBS can (potentially) solve chronic depression.
Possible Answers: Additional data points from future experiments?

A. The electrode implanted during deep-brain stimulation can only be activated in a hospital setting.
Not relevant. The fact that electrode only works in hospital setting doesn't disprove the effectiveness of DBS.

B. The other two patients reported a slight reduction of depressive symptoms when the current on their electrodes was activated
This is plausible. It slightly strengthens the aforementioned conclusion. 2 other data points showing "slightly reduced" symptoms can help prove the effectiveness of DBS. Let's keep at it to see if there's a stronger answer.

C. The operation to implant the electrodes poses a high risk of brain hemorrhage, infection or seizure.
This shares additional (bad) information about DBS side effects.... but doesn't say DBS doesn't work in reducing depressive symptoms.

D. In a subsequent experiment, a one hour treatment the electrodes produced sustained remission from depression in the four patients for six months.
Eureka! A much stronger answer than B since it shows that DBS can have more long-term benefits for patients suffering from chronic depression.

E. Deep-brain stimulation relies on the expertise of highly skilled physicians.
Not relevant, but thank you highly skilled physicians! Your work doesn't mean DBS isn't effective; it just needs your expertise to function.

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Scientists: An experimental technique for combating severe depression,   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2019, 04:23
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