Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a promising intervention for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders, particularly major depressive disorder (MDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Up to 90% of patients who have not recovered with therapy or medication have reported benefit from DBS in open-label studies. Response rates in randomized controlled trials (RCTs), however, have been much lower. This has been argued to arise from surgical variability between sites, and recent psychiatric DBS research has focused on refining targeting through personalized imaging. Much less attention has been given to the fact that psychiatric disorders arise from dysfunction in distributed brain networks, and that DBS likely acts by altering communication within those networks. This is in part because psychiatric DBS research relies on subjective rating scales that make it difficult to identify network biomarkers. Here, we overview recent DBS RCT results in OCD and MDD, as well as the follow-on imaging studies. We present evidence for a new approach to studying DBS’ mechanisms of action, focused on measuring objective cognitive/emotional deficits that underpin these and many other mental disorders. Further, we suggest that a focus on cognition could lead to reliable network biomarkers at an electrophysiologic level, especially those related to inter-regional synchrony of the local field potential (LFP). Developing the network neuroscience of DBS has the potential to finally unlock the potential of this highly specific therapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the NIH/NINDS (grant numbers UH3 NS100548-01, R01 MH119384-01, R01 MH111872, R21 MH120785, R01 NS113804-01), the MnDRIVE Brain Conditions Program, and the University of Minnesota's Medical Discovery Team on Addiction.
This work was supported by the NIH/NINDS (grant numbers UH3 NS100548-01 , R01 MH119384-01 , R01 MH111872 , R21 MH120785 , R01 NS113804-01 ), the MnDRIVE Brain Conditions Program , and the University of Minnesota's Medical Discovery Team on Addiction.
- Cognitive neuroscience
- Deep brain stimulation
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't