Mood Disorders Research | Psychiatry | Dartmouth-Hitchcock
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Mood Disorders Research


Visit the PubMed website to see a selection of publications by the Mood Disorders Service.

Clinical trials

A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study of Sirukumab as Adjunctive Treatment to a MonoAminergic Antidepressant in Adults with Major Depressive Disorder

Paul Holtzheimer, Principal Investigator

This study will help us learn more about the effectiveness and safety of an investigational medication for depression in people who have not responded well to treatment before.

We are screening interested people (ages 21-64) who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and are currently being treated with an antidepressant but are having suboptimal results. Participants will be given the investigational medication every 4 weeks by injections while remaining on their current antidepressant treatment. The study will last up to 26 weeks. Participation in this study is voluntary. Those who are deemed eligible to participate will receive the study medication an all study-related care at no cost. To inquire about participation, please call (603) 650-4914 or email

Safety and Feasibility of Accelerated Low-Frequency Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Medication-Resistance Depression in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Paul Holtzheimer and Krzyszrof Bujarski, Principal Investigators

This study will test the safety and feasibility of low frequency TMS for treatment of depression in individuals with epilepsy. Eligible participants will be men and women ages 18-65 with a diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy, and a history of treatment-resistant depression. In order to participate, individuals must have a family member or friend who can accompany them to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) for three consecutive days of TMS treatment. The study will pay for the patient and family member to stay in a hotel for the two nights between treatment days.

The study involves an initial screening visit to DHMC for a neurological assessment, psychiatric assessment, and a series of questionnaires. One month later, the participant will return for an MRI brain scan, EEG recording and then three consecutive days of TMS treatment. Participants will return after one month and again after six months for evaluations. Individuals will be compensated for participating in the study, lodging will be provided for the nights between treatment, and family members/friends will receive a stipend for food.

To inquire about participation, please call (603) 650-4506 or email at

Neural Markers of Antidepressant Response to Dorsolateral versus Medial Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Paul Holtzheimer, Principal Investigator

(Pending IRB approval)

We are screening interested people ages 21-70 years old who are currently suffering from depression and who have failed to receive benefit from at least 1 pre-scribed anti-depressant. The objective of the study is to test the efficacy of repetitive high frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF-rTMS) on two sections of the brain; the dorsolateral and the medical prefrontal cortices. TMS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is and FDA approved treatment for depression, however, more recent data suggest other cortical regions - in particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) - may be even more critical to the neurobiology of depression and antidepressant treatment response.

Participation in the study will consist of 7 clinical visits lasting up to 10 weeks. This includes the initial screening, 3 consecutive TMS interventions (lasting approximately 6 hours per day) and follow up visits 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after the last TMS intervention visit. An electroencephalogram (EEG) will be used to test the efficacy of the TMS treatment as will a series of self-report questionnaires and computer tasks.

Those interested should call the Mood Disorder Services at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center at (603) 650-4914 or email us at

Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Paul Holtzheimer and David Roberts, Principal Investigators

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves surgically implanting electrodes into a specific part of the brain to provide highly focused electrical stimulation to that brain region. Stimulation is controlled by a computer/battery implanted in the chest wall, and connected to the electrodes by wires that run under the skin.

The goal of DBS is to change brain activity for therapeutic benefit in patients with severe, treatment-refractory neuropsychiatric disorders. DBS is an approved treatment for Parkinson's Disease, other movement disorders, and severe, treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Additionally, DBS has shown preliminary safety and efficacy for the treatment of severe, treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The Mood Disorders Service is currently conducting a clinical trial of DBS for TRD, however this study is currently closed to recruitment.

Identifying Biomarkers for Treatment-Resistant Depression using Neuroimaging

Paul Holtzheimer, Principal Investigator

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a widespread and costly illness. A variety of treatments are available, but many patients fail to get better and continue to have symptoms. These patients are diagnosed as having treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Currently there are very few evidence based treatments for people with TRD.

This is a neuroimaging study comparing the functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) brain images of people who have or have not been helped by taking antidepressants to learn if treatment resistance may be identified by fMRI.

This study is currently closed to recruitment.