Tractography-activation models applied to subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation

J. Luis Lujan, Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Ki Sueng Choi, Paul E. Holtzheimer, Robert E. Gross, Helen S. Mayberg, Cameron C. McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subcallosal cingulate white matter (SCCWM) is an experimental therapy for major depressive disorder (MDD). The specific axonal pathways that mediate the anti-depressant effects of DBS remain unknown. Patient-specific tractography-activation models (TAMs) are a new tool to help identify pathways modulated by DBS. TAMs consist of four basic components: 1) anatomical and diffusion-weighted imaging data acquired on the patient; 2) probabilistic tractography from the brain region surrounding the implanted DBS electrode; 3) finite element models of the electric field generated by the patient-specific DBS parameter settings; and 4) application of the DBS electric field to multi-compartment cable models of axons, with trajectories defined by the tractography, to predict action potential generation in specific pathways. This study presents TAM predictions from DBS of the SCCWM in one MDD patient. Our findings suggest that small differences in electrode location can generate substantial differences in the directly activated pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-739
Number of pages3
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Accumbens
  • Axon
  • Cingulum
  • Cortex
  • Depression
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biophysics
  • Neuroscience(all)


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