We're building a better ClinicalTrials.gov. Check it out and tell us what you think!
Try the New Site
We're building a modernized ClinicalTrials.gov! Visit Beta.ClinicalTrials.gov to try the new functionality.
ClinicalTrials.gov Menu

Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00367003
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : August 22, 2006
Results First Posted : July 14, 2020
Last Update Posted : July 1, 2022
The Dana Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Patricio Riva Posse, Emory University

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to test the safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of subgenual cingulate (Cg25) deep brain stimulation (DBS) for major depression in patients who have not responded to prior antidepressant treatments. Participation in the study will continue for ten years or until the device receives FDA approval for depression. Forty (40) patients will be enrolled in this study.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Major Depressive Disorder Device: Deep Brain Stimulation Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Major Depression is one of the most common and costly of all psychiatric disorders. While depression can be effectively treated in the majority of patients by either medication or some form of evidence-based psychotherapy, up to 20% of patients fail to respond to standard interventions. For these patients, trial-and-error combinations of multiple medications and electroconvulsive therapy are often required. For patients who remain severely depressed despite these aggressive approaches, new strategies are needed.

Converging clinical, biochemical, neuroimaging, and post-mortem data suggest depression is unlikely to be a disease of a single brain region or neurotransmitter system. Rather, it is now generally viewed as a systems-level disorder affecting integrated pathways linking select cortical, subcortical and limbic sites and their related neurotransmitter and molecular mediators. Treatments for depression can be viewed within a limbic-cortical system framework, where different modes of treatment modulate specific regional targets, resulting in a variety of complementary, adaptive chemical and molecular changes that re-establish a normal mood state. Functional neuroimaging studies have played a critical role in characterizing these limbic-cortical pathways. Previous studies have demonstrated consistent involvement of the subgenual cingulate (Cg25) in both acute sadness and antidepressant treatment effects, suggesting a critical role for this region in modulating negative mood states.

This study will test whether high frequency deep brain stimulation of the subgenual cingulate white matter (Cg25-DBS) is a safe and efficacious antidepressant treatment in forty patients with treatment resistant depression, and to investigate potential mechanisms of action of this intervention.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 37 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression
Study Start Date : September 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2, 2014
Estimated Study Completion Date : January 2024

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Deep Brain Stimulation
Participants with treatment resistant depression will have a device implanted for deep brain stimulation.
Device: Deep Brain Stimulation
The deep brain stimulation system (consisting of a lead, extension wire, and implanted pulse generator) will be surgically implanted to stimulate the targeted area of the brain. Stimulation will be turned off for 4 weeks following implantation, then participants will use brain stimulation for 6 months. Participants will also take part in Behavioral Activation therapy during the 6 months of active stimulation. Participants will be followed for 10 years, or until the DBS device has been FDA approved, with adjustments made to the stimulator and medications as necessary.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 Score [ Time Frame: Baseline, Week 24 post-intervention ]
    The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) contains 17 items that are scored from 0 to 2, 3, or 4, where 0 is lack of difficulty and the highest number for an item is the most extreme difficulty. Total scores range from 0 to 53 and higher scores indicate greater depression. For this study, a response to treatment will be defined as a decrease in the HDRS-17 score of 50% or greater from the average pre-surgical baseline.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion criteria:

  • Ability to provide written informed consent.
  • Current Major Depressive Episode (MDE), secondary to either Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder (I, II or NOS), diagnosed by structured clinical interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-text revision (DSM-IV-TR).
  • Current MDE at least two years duration OR a history of more than 4 lifetime depressive episodes.
  • Minimum score at study entry of 20 on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17).
  • Average pre-operative HDRS-17 score of 20 or greater (averaged over four weekly pre-surgical evaluations during the four weeks prior to surgery) and an average pre-operative HDRS-17 score no more than 30% lower than the baseline screening HDRS-17 score.
  • A maximum Global Assessment of Functioning of 50.
  • Treatment-resistant depression defined as:

    • Failure to respond to a minimum of four different antidepressant treatments, including at least three medications from at least three different classes, evidence-based psychotherapy or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) administered at adequate doses and duration during the current episode.
    • Failure or intolerance of an adequate course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) during any episode (confirmed by medical records), or refusal of ECT due to a reason considered to be valid by the study psychiatrist.
  • A patient may remain on psychotropic medications during this study. However, doses must remain stable during the 4 weeks prior to surgery, the four weeks post-operatively, and the 24 weeks open stimulation phase. Medications will be changed only if intolerable side effects clearly attributable to the medications develop.
  • All patients must have an established outpatient psychiatrist and be willing to sign a written release to allow study investigators to give and receive information from this psychiatrist.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Inability to tolerate general anesthesia.
  • Significant cerebrovascular risk factors or a previous stroke, documented major head trauma or neurodegenerative disorder.
  • Other currently active clinically significant Axis I psychiatric diagnosis including schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients with severe Axis II personality disorders will also be excluded if the personality disorder is likely to interfere with cooperation and adherence to the study protocol.
  • Current psychotic symptoms.
  • Evidence of global cognitive impairment.
  • Substance abuse or dependence not in full sustained remission (i.e., not active for at least one year).
  • Active suicidal ideation with intent; suicide attempt within the last six months; more than three suicide attempts within the last two years.
  • Pregnancy or plan to become pregnant during the study period.
  • General contraindications for DBS surgery (cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator or other implanted devices).
  • Inability or unwillingness to comply with long-term follow-up.
  • History of intolerance to neural stimulation of any area of the body.
  • Participation in another drug, device or biologics trial within the preceding 30 days.
  • Conditions requiring repeated MRI scans.
  • Conditions requiring diathermy.
  • Conditions requiring anticoagulant medication.
  • Terminal illness associated with expected survival of <12 months.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00367003

Layout table for location information
United States, Georgia
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30322
Sponsors and Collaborators
Emory University
The Dana Foundation
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Patricio Riva Posse, MD Emory University
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Patricio Riva Posse, Emory University:
Publications of Results:
Other Publications:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Patricio Riva Posse, Assistant Professor, Emory University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00367003    
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB00024883
First Posted: August 22, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: July 14, 2020
Last Update Posted: July 1, 2022
Last Verified: June 2022

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: Yes
Keywords provided by Patricio Riva Posse, Emory University:
Depression, Unipolar, Bipolar-II, DBS, Imaging
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders