Project 10

Depressive disorder is one of the most common psychiatric disorders and is associated with immense socioeconomic impairments and medical disabilities. Although a majority of patients can be well treated with psychotropic drugs, psychotherapy or electroconvulsive therapy, there are still about 12 % patients who fail to respond and remain severely depressed.

A possible reason for this treatment resistance is that most antidepressant interventions are not based on pathophysiological findings. Understanding depression as a dysregulation of limbic-cortical networks means that a specific modulation of these networks by deep brain stimulation (DBS) might be a causally determined therapeutic approach. The subgenual cingulate cortex (Cg 25) was identified as a potential relay structure in one of these networks and its modulation has demonstrated antidepressant effects in pilot trials.

Further clinical and animal trials are required to validate these first results and investigate the outcome and the effect of DBS on a neuronal level. Thus, the present project has a translational approach and pursues three interconnected goals:

i) On a clinical level, to investigate efficacy and tolerability of DBS in therapy-refractory major depressive disorder in a multi-centric, placebo-controlled design

ii) On an animal level, to study in models of depression the underlying mechanisms of DBS at different levels of neurobiological integrity.

iii) On a translational level, to integrate questions from the clinical trial into the animal level and to impart findings from the animal level into the clinical part

Prof. Dr. med. Christine Winter, Principal Investigator
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus an der Technischen Universität Dresden
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy / Experimentelle Psychiatrie
Fetscherstraße 74
01307 Dresden
Tel.: +49-351 458 4450
E-Mail: christine.winter@uniklinikum-dresden.de
Dr. rer. nat. Ravit Hadar, Postdoc
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus an der Technischen Universität Dresden
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy / Experimentelle Psychiatrie
Fetscherstraße 74
01307 Dresden
E-Mail: ravit.hadar@uniklinikum-dresden.de
Julia Rummel, PhD Student
Charité – Campus Mitte
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
E-Mail: julia.rummel@charite.de
Dr. rer. nat. Franziska Wieske, Technical Assistant
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus an der Technischen Universität Dresden
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy / Experimentelle Psychiatrie
Fetscherstraße 74
01307 Dresden
Tel.: +49-351 458 4450
E-Mail: franziska.wieske@uniklinikum-dresden.de