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Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression

The Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute, in collaboration with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, is pleased to announce a clinical pilot study investigating whether deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) will serve as an effective treatment in patients with treatment refractory depression (TRD) using the Activa® system. Individual patient response will be measured by standardized patient and clinician ratings of depression severity.

For more information about this study, call (713) 486-2627 or email

Overseeing this study is Jair C. Soares, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and executive director of The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center (UTHealth HCPC).

Dr. Soares received his medical degree from the University of São Paulo Medical School and his Ph.D. from Federal University of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Following his residency in adult psychiatry from the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of São Paulo, he completed a residency in general psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Soares completed an internship in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the UPMC Health System in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then served as a post-doctoral fellow in Neuroimaging at the Yale University School of Medicine. As the author of over 150 articles in peer-reviewed publications, he is a specialist in refractory depression, deep brain stimulation, mood disorders, and clinical psychopharmacology.

Also involved in the study is Albert Fenoy, M.D., an associate professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. He received his medical degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Fenoy completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Iowa, and then completed a fellowship in functional neurosurgery and deep brain stimulation at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, France. He specializes in deep brain stimulation for movement disorders and psychiatric diseases.

You may be qualified to participate in this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • 22-65 years of age
  • Currently suffering from treatment refractory depression, i.e., depression that has not improved when treated by other methods of therapy

Participants who are eligible for this study may receive study-related care which includes surgery, experimental device, and evaluation at no cost. This study is one of UTHealth’s multiple ongoing endeavors dedicated to developing new treatments for individuals suffering from depression resistant to current therapeutics.

For more information about this study for deep brain stimulation therapy for treatment resistant depression, call (713) 486-2627 or email