Mood disorders, including major depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disease), and geriatric depression, are common, debilitating disorders that not only impact mood and emotion, but also affect the afflicted person’s ability to eat, sleep, and experience normal sexual drives. If sufficiently severe, they can cause marked impairment in cognition, occupational functioning, social activities and relationships with others. In addition to these profound sources of morbidity, affective disorders may result in mortality through suicide. The burden of affective disorders on families and the costs to society are tremendous. The pathophysiology of these disorders remains unclear, and further study is necessary to identify the underlying areas of abnormal brain function in this spectrum of disease. The FNL has designed and performed functional neuroimaging studies to probe key brain circuits and functions in major depression, bipolar disorder and geriatric depression. The results of these studies have increased our understanding of the pathophysiology of affective disorders, and are a prerequisite for the development of new, targeted biological therapies that are being developed.

Vago DR, Epstein J, Catenaccio E, Stern E. Identification of Neural Targets for the treatment of psychiatric disorders: The role of functional neuroimaging. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2011 Apr;22(2):279-305.

Epstein J, Perez DL, Ervin K, Pan H, Kocisis JH, Butler T, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Failure to segregate emotional processing from cognitive and sensorimotor processing in major depression. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 2011 Sep 30;193(3):144-50. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Epstein J, Pan H, Kocsis JH, Yang Y, Butler T, Chusid J, Hochberg H, Murrough J, Strohmayer E, Stern E, Silbersweig DA. Lack of ventral striatal response to positive stimuli in depressed versus normal subjects. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163 (10):1784-90, 2006.

DeAsis J, Silbersweig D, Pan H, Young R, Stern E. Neuroimaging Studies of fronto-limbic dysfunction in geriatric depression. Clinical Neuroscience Research. 2: 324-330, 2003.

De Asis J, Stern E, Alexopoulos GS, Pan H, Van Gorp W, Blumberg H, Kalayam B, Eidelberg D, Silbersweig DA. Decreased hippocampal and anterior cingulate activation in geriatric depression. American Journal of Psychiatry 158:1321, 2001.

Blumberg H, Stern E, Ricketts S, Martinez D, De Asis J, White T, Epstein J, Isenberg N, McBride A, Kemperman I, Emmerich S, Dhawan V, Eidelberg D, Kocsis J, Silbersweig D. Rostral and orbital prefrontal cortex dysfunction in the manic state of bipolar disorder. Am J Psychiatry, 156:1986-1988, 1999.

Blumberg H, Stern E, Martinez D, Ricketts S, De Asis J, White T, Epstein J, McBride A, Eidelberg D, Kocsis J, Silbersweig D. Increased anterior cingulate and caudate activity in bipolar mania. Biological Psychiatry 48:1045-1052, 2000.

Alexopoulos GS, Meyers BS, Young RC, Kakuma T, Silbersweig D, Charlson M. Clinically defined vascular depression. Am J Psychiatry, 154: 562-565, 1997.

Alexopoulos GS, Meyers BS, Young RC, Campbell S, Silbersweig D, Charlson M. ‘Vascular Depression’ Hypothesis. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 54: 915-922, 1997.

Kalayam B, Alexopoulos GS, Musiek FE, Kakuma T, Toro A, Silbersweig D, Young R. Brainstem evoked response abnormalities in late life depression with vascular disease. Am J Psychiatry, 154: 970-975, 1997.