This health videos looks into the experimental procedure of implanting a pacemaker to help reduce anxiety.
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Jennifer Matthews: Art is Sallie Broadway's passion, until recently just completing a project was a challenge. Sallie Broadway: My eyes start like I have eye twitch and I start feeling like I can't breath and I am having a heart attack. Jennifer Matthews: Sallie suffers from severe anxiety, panic attacks, social phobias, and obsessive behaviors were at time so overwhelming she couldn't leave her home. When medication didn't help, Sallie tried an experimental procedure at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is one of the first in the country to have a pacemaker implanted to reduce anxiety. Sallie Broadway: It feels like you have a foulness in your throat and it does gives me a feeling like I know what's there and it's comport. Jennifer Matthews: A pacemaker is implanted in the chest, wires are attached to the vagus nerve in the neck. Every five minutes an electric charge is sent to the nerve to help slow the heart rate and calm anxiety symptoms. Dr. Mark George: We are excited about the technology and what it'll tell us about how the brain regulates anxiety as well as potentially a new option for people who don't have options now. Jennifer Matthews: It's given Sallie relief. Sallie Broadway: I get out a lot more and I participate in lot more activities than I was doing before. Jennifer Matthews: A new tool that gives her control over anxiety and her life. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.