Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: A Progress Report

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: A Progress Report

It is now almost 15 years since researchers first used a method called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to treat major depression that has not responded to conventional therapies. Subsequently, follow-up studies have made steady progress, both technically, in terms of how the treatment is targeted in the brain, as well as in identifying which patients are most likely to benefit. Close monitoring of patients has improved our ability to understand effects of DBS over the long-term, and to link these with changes at the level of neural circuits. This work brings us ever closer to a more comprehensive understanding of illness and recovery.

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Presented by 
Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.
Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Professor, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Mount Sinai Professor of Neurotherapeutics

Director, Center of Advanced Circuit Therapeutics

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2004)

2007 Falcone Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Affective Disorders Research (Colvin Prize)

2002 Distinguished Investigator Grant

1995 Independent Investigator Grant

1991 Young Investigator Grant


Dr. Mayberg leads a multidisciplinary research program committed to defining the “neurology of depression.” Her imaging studies over the past 20 years have systematically examined functional abnormalities characterizing the disorder, as well as neural mechanisms mediating antidepressant response to various evidence-based treatments. The goal of her studies is to identify neurobiological markers predicting treatment response and optimized treatment selection. Her long-term interest in neural network models of mood regulation in health and disease led to the development of a new intervention for treatment-resistant patients using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a study initiated at the University of Toronto and now continuing at Emory.

Dr. Mayberg received a B.A. in psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.D. degree from the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Moderated by
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein served as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association from 2012 - 2023.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.