Deep brain stimulation has been extensively studied as a therapeutic option for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). DBS across different targets is associated with on average 60% response rates in previously refractory chronically depressed patients. However, response rates vary greatly between patients and between studies and often require extensive trial-and-error optimizations of stimulation parameters. Emerging evidence from tractography imaging suggests that targeting combinations of white matter tracts, rather than specific grey matter regions, is necessary for meaningful antidepressant response to DBS. In this article, we review efficacy of various DBS targets for TRD, which networks are involved in their therapeutic effects, and how we can use this information to improve targeting and programing of DBS for individual patients. We will also highlight how to integrate these DBS network findings into developing adaptive stimulation and optimal trial designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1245
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Depression
  • Neuromodulation
  • Neurostimulation
  • Treatment-resistant depression


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