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"Brain Stimulation of Novel Target Improves Depression" – Megan Brooks

  • Medscape
  • New York, NY
  • (December 12, 2018)

Direct electrical stimulation of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) acutely improves mood in patients with depressive symptoms, new research shows. The OFC, a small region on the lower surface of the brain just above the eyes, is one of the least understood regions in the brain, but it is richly connected to various brain structures linked to mood, depression and decision making, making it very well positioned to coordinate activity between emotion and cognition. Helen Mayberg, MD, director of the Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics at the Mount Sinai Health System, said that more study is needed and urged caution in interpreting the study data. “There are a lot of areas in the brain that you can stimulate and get an acute effect, so this is another interesting piece of the puzzle,” but it’s unclear if the effect is long standing, she said. Dr. Mayberg said it's also important to note that depression was not the primary diagnosis in these patients.

— Helen S. Mayberg, MD, Professor, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics, Mount Sinai Health System

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