Superolateral medial forebrain bundle deep brain stimulation in major depression: a gateway trial

Volker A. Coenen, Bettina H. Bewernick, Sarah Kayser, Hannah Kilian, Jan Boström, Susanne Greschus, René Hurlemann, Margaretha Eva Klein, Susanne Spanier, Bastian Sajonz, Horst Urbach, Thomas E. Schlaepfer
  • Neuropsychopharmacology, March 2019, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1038/s41386-019-0369-9

Relief from Major Depression with electrical stimulation

What is it about?

Electrical Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to a part of the human reward system - the superolateral part of the median forebrain bundle (slMFB) - is efficacious in relieving symptoms of extremely treatment resistant forms of major depression in the majority of patients.

Why is it important?

Patients who did not experience any benefit from dozens of treatments including psychotherapy, medications and electroconvulsive therapy responded to DBS


Thomas E. Schlaepfer
Division of Interventional Bilogical Psychiatry, University of Freiburg

If the encouraging results of the first pilot study (Schlaepfer TE, Bewernick BH, Kayser S, Madler B, Coenen VA (2013): Rapid effects of deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant major depression. Biol Psychiatry. 73:1204-1212.) and this study are confirmed, slMFB stimulation might be developed as a new clinical treatment option.

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The following have contributed to this page: Thomas E. Schlaepfer