Deep brain stimulation of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) improved depression symptoms in a study involving 25 patients with epilepsy at the University of California, San Francisco. The discovery adds a new electrical stimulation target to the handful of brain regions currently under investigation for treatment-resistant depression.
The study, published in Current Biology, involved epilepsy surgical patients who had electrodes temporarily implanted for seizure monitoring. “Many of the patients in the epilepsy monitoring unit suffer from anxiety and depression, so we saw a chance to work with them to gain insights into how neural activity relates to mood and could be therapeutically changed with brain stimulation,” said researcher Kristin K. Sellers, PhD.
Abbasi J. New Deep Brain Stimulation Target for Mood Disorders. JAMA. 2019;321(6):537. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0295
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