Mapping Depression Circuits: Foundation for New Treatment Strategies Using Deep Brain Stimulation

Brain School seminar

Critical to the development of deep brain stimulation as a novel therapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression has been the further characterization of brain systems mediating normal and abnormal mood states as well as those mediating successful and unsuccessful response to various antidepressant interventions using functional neuroimaging. Building on converging evidence implicating the subcallosal cingulate as a critical node within an imaging-based, putative depression network model, the subcallosal cingulate white matter was targeted for initial proof-of-principle testing of deep brain stimulation in patients with treatment resistant major depression, adopting neuromodulation techniques routinely used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. The theoretical and data-driven foundation for this new treatment strategy as well as results from ongoing experimental studies will be presented.