Date Added: 08/02/2017

Date Updated: 08/02/2017

Transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound and deep brain stimulation for refractory depression

Specialties: Mental health, addiction & learning difficulties - Neurology & neurosurgery - Radiology, imaging & nuclear medicine

Technology Type: Procedures

Stage of development: Experimental - pilot or phase II

Stage of EAA: Assessment Complete

Description, patients and keywords:

Two technologies for treatment of refractory depression were considered in this Brief: transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (tcMRg FUS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). No reports on human studies on the use of tcMRg FUS for the treatment of refractory depression were identified, though ClinicalTrials.gov indicates that trials are underway. While deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established technology for a number of neurological motor conditions, psychiatric applications are currently prohibited in several jurisdictions throughout Australia, and the use of the technology overseas to treat refractory depression is considered experimental/investigational. A small number of inconclusive, low level studies on DBS for depression were identified in the peer reviewed literature. Only one small randomised controlled trial of DBS for depression, claiming to be the first such trial, was identified. The trial failed to show any differences in treatment effectiveness between DBS and sham stimulation. A total of 71 serious adverse events related to DBS, including worsening depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, implant site infection, and lead revision for reasons including but not limited to infection, were observed among nearly three quarters of study participants.

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