Message From the Director

We are living in a time of rapid technological and methodological innovation across neuroscience. Informed by new discoveries, we can now watch, listen, interrogate, interpret, and modify brain activity. We are drawing knowledge from the simple to the complex—from single cells to specified pathways to large-scale neural networks. As a result, we are able to understand and affect a wide range of behaviors.

At the Nash Family Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics, we are using and studying deep brain stimulation to address a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. As a result of our collaborative culture, we are seeing how our knowledge in one area translates to many others.

For instance, our work on depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder is helping patients with Parkinson’s disease, who often develop these same symptoms.  Similarly, we see patients with depression and OCD who present with disturbances of movement. These different diagnoses and pathologies share behavioral features, and our research platform encourages looking across diagnoses for commonalities at the circuit level, which in turn, impacts delivery of multidisciplinary care.

Today, advances in deep brain stimulation technology are providing us with real-time readouts of brain activity while we are delivering ongoing care. We now have the opportunity to interrogate the brain over time with the goal of further optimizing treatment using the feedback provided by the device. We are in a new era: one in which more interactions are possible between the patient, the device, the investigator, and the physician with data collected in the operating room, the clinic, the laboratory, and the home.

We welcome collaborations with like-minded clinicians and researchers.

Helen S. Mayberg, MD