State-dependent responses to intracranial brain stimulation in a patient with depression

Nat Med. 2021 Feb;27(2):229-231. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01175-8. Epub 2021 Jan 18.


Deep brain stimulation is a promising treatment for severe depression, but lack of efficacy in randomized trials raises questions regarding anatomical targeting. We implanted multi-site intracranial electrodes in a severely depressed patient and systematically assessed the acute response to focal electrical neuromodulation. We found an elaborate repertoire of distinctive emotional responses that were rapid in onset, reproducible, and context and state dependent. Results provide proof of concept for personalized, circuit-specific medicine in psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain / ultrastructure*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnostic imaging
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Electric Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Electrodes
  • Female
  • Humans