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Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) involves surgically implanting electrodes in certain areas of the brain that disrupt abnormal brain signals, or affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain. The electrodes send out mild pulses of current stimulation, to regulate specific areas of the brain much like a pacemaker uses pulses of electrical current to regulate the rhythm of the heart. Here at VCU Medical Center DBS is being currently used to treat Parkinson’s disease, and other movement disorders, and is being researched as a treatment for depression. Information about how DBS is used to treat Parkinson's and other movement disorders can be found here.

The VCU Department of Psychiatry is currently one of approximately 15 involved in a national clinical trial evaluating DBS for the treatment of depression. In this study, stimulation is delivered to an area of the brain believed to function differently in people with major depression and appears to be overactive when people are profoundly sad and depressed. The Brodmann Area 25 deep brain Neuromodulation study, or BROADEN™ study, is the first randomized clinical research study to investigate the use of deep brain stimulation as an intervention for people with major depression. The clinical study involves patients diagnosed with unipolar major depressive disorder, excluding bipolar disorder, who have failed at least four treatment options in their current episode.

For more information, please call 804-828-4570 and ask to speak with Megan Edwards or Dr. Pandurangi

For information about our other brain stimulation services, please visit other pages on our site or call:
TMS Clinic: 804-628-1766
ECT Referrals: 804-828-4570 or 804-628-1410
DBS and VNS: 804-828-4570