Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Deep brain stimulation shows promising results for unipolar and bipolar depression

A new study shows that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a safe and effective intervention for treatment-resistant depression in patients with either unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar ll disorder (BP). The study was published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The study was led by Helen S. Mayberg, MD, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, with co-investigators Paul E. Holtzheimer, MD, lead psychiatrist and now associate professor and director of the Mood Disorders Service, Dartmouth Medical School, and neurosurgeon Robert E. Gross, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at Emory. Gross served as chief neurosurgeon for the study.

"Depression is a serious and debilitating medical illness," says Mayberg. "When we found that the potential for effective and sustained antidepressant response with DBS for patients with otherwise treatment resistant major depressive disorder was high, the next step was to determine if patients with intractable bipolar depression could also be successfully treated."

An earlier study by Mayberg done in Toronto in collaboration with scientists at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network and Emory, was the first to show such results for patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. Mayberg conducted this new expanded trial at Emory to include patients with bipolar ll disorder.

Bipolar spectrum disorder, sometimes referred to as manic-depression, is characterized by bouts of mania or hypomania alternating between episodes of depression. Although people with bipolar ll disorder do not have full manic episodes, depressive episodes are frequent and intense, and there is a high risk of suicide. A major challenge in treating bipolar depression is that many antidepressant medications may cause patients to "switch" into a hypomanic or manic episode.

DBS uses high-frequency electrical stimulation targeted to a predefined area of the brain specific to the particular neuropsychiatric disorder. Here, each study participant was implanted with two thin wire electrodes, one on each side of the brain. The other end of each wire was connected under the skin of the patient's neck to a pulse generator implanted in the chest – similar to a pacemaker – that directs the electrical current.

Study participants received single-blind stimulation for four weeks (patients did not know if the DBS system was on or off), followed by active stimulation for 24 weeks. Patients were evaluated for up to two years following onset of active stimulation. Seventeen patients were enrolled in the study.

A significant decrease in depression and increase in function were associated with continuing stimulation. Remission and response rates were 18 percent and 41 percent after 24 weeks; 36 percent and 36 percent after one year and 58 percent and 92 percent after two years of active stimulation. Patients who achieved remission did not experience a spontaneous relapse. Efficacy was similar for Major Depressive Disorder and Bi-Polar patients, and no participant experienced a manic or hypomanic episode.

Mayberg and her colleagues continue to refine this intervention. Current studies include demographic, clinical and imaging predictors of response and remission, and introduction of psychotherapeutic rehabilitation. Why and how this treatment works is the primary focus of ongoing research.

"Most of these patients have been in a depressed state for many years and are disabled and isolated," says Holtzheimer. "As their depression improves, they need a process to help them achieve full recovery that includes integration back into society.

"We hope to optimize the rate of improvement for these patients by using a model of care that provides psychotherapeutic rehabilitation built on evidence-based psychotherapy but tailored to the specific individual's situation."

The study was funded by grants from the Dana Foundation, Stanley Medical Research Institute, Woodruff Foundation, and Emory Healthcare. The study was performed under a physician sponsored IDE to Dr Mayberg (G060028 and registered at ID#: NCT00367003). Investigational DBS devices were donated by St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Inc., which was otherwise uninvolved in the study.

Holtzheimer has received grant funding from the Greenwall Foundation, NARSAD, National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); he has received consulting fees from St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation.

Gross has received consulting fees from St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation, Boston Scientific and Bayer Healthcare and he has equity in Neurovista.

Mayberg has a consulting agreement with St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation, which has licensed her intellectual property to develop SCC DBS for the treatment of severed depression.

The terms of these arrangements have been reviewed and approved by Emory University in accordance with their conflict-of-interest policies.

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focusing on teaching, research, health care and public service.

Kathi Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>