From the Archives: Imaging Depression

This month, Helen Mayberg and her colleagues published a study suggesting that patterns of brain connectivity may predict which people with depression would respond best to talk therapy and which would do better with a drug. This video clip from Fox5 Atlanta describes the study, and shows what it could mean to people who need help for their depression.

Our first work with Mayberg, now a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, was more than a decade ago, when she was using first positron emission tomography and then deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression (Dana grants in 2006, 2010). She spoke with us about this work in 2012:

Continue reading

Tomorrow’s World Today: The 2016 International Neuroethics Society Meeting

Guest blog by Moheb Costandi.

am16-square-regearlyIn November, some of the world’s leading bioethicists and neuroscientists will convene in San Diego for the annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society (INS).

The 2016 meeting marks the tenth anniversary of the INS. In that time, we have seen unprecedented advances in neuroscience and, consequently, a plethora of new technologies developed to further our understanding of the brain, and to fix it when it goes wrong, have emerged.

Even so, our understanding of this complex organ is far from complete. We still know very little about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, and it is widely believed that the incidence of this debilitating neurodegenerative condition will reach epidemic proportions in the years to come. Similarly, the global burden of mental health issues is expected to grow, and has been projected to affect 15% of the world’s population by the year 2020–disabling more people than AIDS, heart disease, traffic accidents, and wars combined.

Faced with these grim prospects, the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, and other countries have launched, or are set to launch, national large-scale neuroscience initiatives. Leading figures from some of these initiatives will discuss their country’s brain research efforts and the ethical issues they raise in a panel discussion and breakout sessions at the INS meeting.

Continue reading

Lasker Award Winner: DABI Member Mahlon DeLong

This morning, the Lasker Foundation announced that two scientists, one a European Dana Alliance member and the other a Dana Alliance member, will share the 2014 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. The award recognizes the work of Alim Louis Benabid and Mahlon R. DeLong to develop deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus, surgically implanting a “brain pacemaker” that can reduce tremors and restore motor functions in people who have advanced Parkinson’s disease.

benabid and delong

European Dana Alliance member Alim Louis Benabid of Joseph Fourier Univiersity and Dana Alliance member Mahlon R. DeLong of Emory University School of Medicine, courtesy of the Lasker Foundation

There’s an 8-minute explanatory video describing their work (and featuring fellow Alliance member Helen Mayberg) and a well-written description of their work.

Continue reading

Helen Mayberg Wins Psychiatry Award

MaybergHelen Mayberg, M.D., a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and radiology at Emory University School of Medicine, has been awarded the fifth annual Joan and Stanford Alexander Award in Psychiatry. Each year, Baylor College bestows the honor upon “a mental health professional who has made significant contributions in research, education and clinical or community service for people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness.” Past award winners include Dana Alliance members Nora Volkow, M.D., and Eric Kandel, M.D.

Mayberg is being recognized for her pioneering work using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for patients with treatment resistant depression. The Dana Foundation funded her research in this area, which was described in a 2012 Dana grantee interview.

– Ann L. Whitman

%d bloggers like this: