Implantable Electroacupuncture System and Method for Treating Depression and Similar Mental Conditions (US 9,173,811 B2)

Abstract

An implantable electroacupuncture device (IEAD) treats mental illness through application of stimulation pulses applied at a specified tissue location, including at least one of acupoints GV20 and EXHN3, or their underlying nerves. In one embodiment, the IEAD comprises an implantable, coin-sized, self-contained, leadless electroacupuncture device having at least two electrodes attached to an outside surface of its housing. The device generates stimulation pulses in accordance with a specified stimulation regimen. Power management circuitry within the device allows a primary battery, having a high internal impedance, to be used to power the device. The stimulation regimen generates stimulation pulses during a stimulation session of duration T3 minutes applied every T4 minutes. The duty cycle, or ratio T3/T4 is very low, no greater than 0.05. The low duty cycle and careful power management allow the IEAD to perform its intended function for several years.

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