Tracking the mechanisms of deep brain stimulation for neuropsychiatric disorders

J. Luis Lujan, Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Cameron C. McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has recently emerged as a potential treatment for medically intractable neuropsychiatric disorders. Pilot clinical studies with encouraging results have been performed with DBS of the ventral anterior internal capsule (VAIC) and subgenual cingulate white matter (Cg25WM) for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. However, little is known about the underlying response of individual neurons, or the networks they are connected to, when DBS is applied to the VAIC or Cg25WM. This review summarizes current understanding of the response of axons to DBS, and discusses the general brain network architectures thought to underlie neuropsychiatric disorders. We also employ diffusion tensor imaging tractography to better understand the axonal trajectories surrounding DBS electrodes implanted in the VAIC or Cg25WM. Finally, we attempt to reconcile various data sets by presenting generalized hypotheses on potential therapeutic mechanisms of DBS for neuropsychiatric disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5892-5904
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number15
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Depression
  • Neuromodulation
  • Neurostimulation
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Review
  • Tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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