Applied Strategies for MRI-Guided High-Definition tDCS for Major Depression

Project: Research project

Project Details


Depression is a leading source of disability across the world, and a significant cause of suffering and morbidity. Despite a relatively large number of available treatments, many people go inadequately treated, because first-line treatments can fail or become ineffective over time, systemic side effects, among other reasons. Noninvasive neurostimulation methods are becoming increasingly popular, and have the ability to directly target brain dysfunction thought to be associated with depression. However, traditional neurostimulation methods like ECT and TMS are expensive, burdensome, and come with side effects as well. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an attractive low-cost alternative, with minimal side effects and capability for at-home use; however, its effectiveness is uncertain, perhaps due to inefficient engagement of target brain regions and networks. This proposal seeks to use MRI to understand and improve this promising therapy for depression, by using focal “high definition” electrodes to target a regional of prefrontal cortex determined by each patient’s unique underlying functional neuroanatomy. Changes in brain activity and brain function will be measured, and outcomes will be used to inform future larger-scale grant applications and mechanistic trials. Furthermore, strategies developed by this research could be applied to investigations of any neurostimulation technology to treat a variety of mental health and other conditions affecting brain function.
Effective start/end date1/15/211/14/24


  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (#29456)


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