Prefrontal network engagement by deep brain stimulation in limbic hubs

Front Hum Neurosci. 2024 Jan 12:17:1291315. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2023.1291315. eCollection 2023.


Prefrontal circuits in the human brain play an important role in cognitive and affective processing. Neuromodulation therapies delivered to certain key hubs within these circuits are being used with increasing frequency to treat a host of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the detailed neurophysiological effects of stimulation to these hubs are largely unknown. Here, we performed intracranial recordings across prefrontal networks while delivering electrical stimulation to two well-established white matter hubs involved in cognitive regulation and depression: the subcallosal cingulate (SCC) and ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS). We demonstrate a shared frontotemporal circuit consisting of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and lateral orbitofrontal cortex where gamma oscillations are differentially modulated by stimulation target. Additionally, we found participant-specific responses to stimulation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and demonstrate the capacity for further tuning of neural activity using current-steered stimulation. Our findings indicate a potential neurophysiological mechanism for the dissociable therapeutic effects seen across the SCC and VC/VS targets for psychiatric neuromodulation and our results lay the groundwork for personalized, network-guided neurostimulation therapy.

Keywords: deep brain stimulation (DBS); gamma oscillations; major depressive disorder (MDD); prefrontal networks; stereo-EEG/intracranial recordings; subcallosal cingulate; ventral capsule/ventral striatum.