INFORMATIVE FEATURES OF DEPRESSION
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schläpfer (Contact PI)
Major Depression is a very prevalent, serious and debilitating disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 20%. The disorder is associated with overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness that can make people feel that life is no longer worth living. People affected by depression lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy and can also be affected by physical symptoms such as disturbed sleep. Over the past decade, different modalities of targeted neuromodulation — among them most prominently deep brain stimulation (DBS) — have been actively researched as possible approaches to very treatment-resistant forms of those disorders. Given the surprisingly strong therapeutic results is obvious to develop DBS into a clinical treatment while capitalizing on its utility as novel and unique research platform delivering data on the underlying disease biology. The projecs INFER is planned as indispensable groundwork for developing closed-loop adaptive DBS systems for use in treatment-resistant depression. Before electrophysiological interventions can be envisaged, we need information on informative features of depression. This research application aims at learning more about the underlying neurobiology of one of the most disabling disorders known, allowing generation of new testable hypotheses on brain function and dysfunction in depression.
The project has started on March 1, 2017 and is currently in its ramp up phase.