Johanna Bayer and LAVINIA CARMEN USCATESCU
Discussing deep brain stimulation and brain connectivity with Keynote presenter Andreas Horn
Dr. Andreas Horn is a clinician-scientist with training in neuroimaging, movement disorders, and both invasive and noninvasive brain stimulation. He is the group leader of the transatlantic Network Stimulation Laboratory at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston and Charité – University Medicine Berlin. Dr. Horn’s research focuses on the development and improvement of methods to identify brain stimulation sites for studying network interactions and neuromodulation in the human brain. He is also the host of the podcast Stimulating Brains, focusing on brain stimulation.
In this interview with Dr. Horn, we explore how deep brain stimulation can be used to better understand the human connectome, and how this work can be leveraged to improve patients’ lives. “In contrast to many other neuroimaging domains, there is a more or less direct translation [from Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)] to clinical practice,” says Dr. Horn. For example, networks identified via DBS can be targeted with noninvasive stimulation methods such as multifocal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to improve conditions of patients with movement disorders like Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Horn also provides insight into ongoing discussions in the field on whether structural or functional measures provide better predictions for DBS outcomes. He explains why his lab has gradually shifted away from using patient-specific connectivity data to precise normative connectomes for determining which brain networks should be modulated for maximal effects.
In his keynote at OHBM 2023, Dr. Horn will give us a tour of his findings from years of work studying the effects of deep brain stimulation on the connectome across different disorders, ranging across neurological, neuropsychiatric, and psychiatric diseases. He will illustrate how his findings can be transferred across disorders to inform one another as well as how they can be further used to study neurocognitive effects and behaviors such as risk-taking and impulsivity.
You can find the video interview here and listen to the audio-only podcast version here (or on your podcast app of choice).