Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is emerging as a potential intervention for patients with highly treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Early, open-label studies supported the safety and potential efficacy of DBS for TRD but later randomized, controlled trials have yielded mixed results. This presentation reviews the history of DBS for TRD, with a specific focus on DBS of the subcallosal cingulate (SCC) – the technique that has been most studied to date. The results of key trials are critically evaluated, and recent research is presented that provides a potential direction for further study of this promising intervention.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Describe how DBS fits within a unique paradigm for treating neuropsychiatric disorders
- Critically evaluate the existing literature on DBS as a treatment for TRD
- Discuss how recent research findings may indicate a path for future evaluation for DBS as a intervention for TRD and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
Deputy for Research, National Center for PTSD; Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Dr. Holtzheimer’s research program focuses on the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders, primarily using functional and structural neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography) as well as focal neuromodulation (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, and deep brain stimulation).
His clinical and research efforts focus on treatment-resistant mood disorders, brain imaging and brain stimulation therapies, including transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation. Dr Holtzheimer's clinical research program at Dartmouth aims to better understand the neural circuitry underlying treatment-resistant depression and to use this information to develop and advance novel treatment approaches, with a particular emphasis on brain stimulation therapies.
Dr. Holtzheimer has been a member of ADAA since 2013 and serves on the Board of Directors.