New brain implant could spell end of addictions

New brain implant could spell end of addictions

It's like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but a real-life pioneering medical technology is happening right here in New Zealand.

Brain implants could cure addictions of every kind - from porn and computers to alcohol and drugs.

The cravings are suppressed by the implant, and believe it or not, the device works using Bluetooth.

Peter Brown's life has changed dramatically in six months. He was in and out of rehab for almost a decade, until earlier this year the rehab centres approached him about a trial at Otago University.

"I got to a point where I was drinking about a cask a day of wine. Sometimes I'd have breaks in between because I'd be so sick."

The implant is inserted between the two halves of the brain, and targets the part involved with cravings.

Dr Dirk De Ridder is famous for his research into phantom pains, tinnitus and stimulating the brain with electrodes to change the way people interpret and feel pain.

Now he's focusing on the part that controls cravings, and he's using Kiwi alcoholics as patients.

Story went to find out just how well these implants are working, and as the question:  is it safe?

Watch the video for the full Story report.