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Distinguished Scientist Lecture February 15, 2013, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm WPIC Auditorium

Rethinking Depression and Its Treatment:
Insights from Studies of Deep Brain Stimulation


 Helen Mayberg, MD
 Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 
 Neurology a
nd Radiology
 Dorothy C. Fuqua Chair in Psychiatric
and Therapeutics
mory University School of Medicine





Dr. Mayberg received a BA in psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MD from the University of Southern California.  She is a Board Certified Neurologist, trained at the Neurological Institute of NY at Columbia University and a post-doctoral fellowship in Nuclear Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.   

Dr. Mayberg heads a multidisciplinary depression research program dedicated to the study of brain circuits in depression and the effects of various antidepressant treatments measured using a variety of functional and structural imaging tools.  The primary focus of the lab to development imaging and physiological based algorithms that will discriminate depressed patient subgroups and optimize treatment selection at all stages of the illness.  Imaging findings provided the foundation for development and testing of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subcallosal cingulate region (Area 25), a novel intervention for patients with treatment resistant depression.

She was recently named as one of Emory University’s “Game Changers” in recognition of her pioneering DBS research which has been heralded as a one of the first hypothesis-driven treatment strategies for a major mental illness.  Clinical trials are now ongoing in both North America and Europe.  At Emory, DBS studies aim to refine, optimize and extend the potential of this treatment strategy with experiments designed to characterize and define mechanisms mediating DBS response and to develop biomarkers that will improve patient selection, enhance precision of surgical targeting and optimize stimulation parameters. 

Learning Objectives:   At the conclusion of this lecture, participants will be able to

  1. Describe neuroimaging findings in patients with depression.
  2. Distinguish the distinct brain changes associated with different antidepressant treatments.
  3. Assess the potential utility of DBS as a future treatment option for treatment resistant patients.

Continuing Education Credit: The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded .15 continuing education units (CEUs), which are equal to 1.5 contact hours. In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials which will be distributed at the time of the conference.  WPIC is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  WPIC maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  This program is being offered for 1.5 continuing education credits.

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