Saturday, June 29, 2013


As I've hoped and hypothesized, Dr. Mayberg, who is one of the founders of using DBS for depression, has released research under a NIH grant relating to being able to diagnose what treatment method will work best for each individual with depression.  i.e. Run the test and it will show whether an SSRI, SSNI, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or something more radical like DBS stands the best chance of working.  (They haven't refined it that far but the initial research is fantastic).

In the linked article,  they correlated activity in the brain called the "anterior insula" with CBT and a SSRI.  Based on either low or high activity in the insula, the type of treatment that worked best for the patient has a high correlation. Another article ( gets a little more technical and the actual JAMA article is at

Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.  Of course this is all very preliminary work but it's a giant step forward.

For those interested in DBS, there are a number of research studies using different locations in the brain.  There are links to the side and in the blogs that refer to the actual locations and that the current theories hold that, like many things in the brain, depression is a circuit of sorts.  That circuit runs through a number of areas and the current research is showing that there are a number of places that DBS works. Finding the place that works the best or to extend this latest research, using some type of imaging may lead to prescribing a certain anti-depressant, seeing a therapist, or in severe cases, which place in the brain to insert some electricity.Woo hoo.