Towards personalised cognitive brain stimulation for depression

Year of award: 2019


  • Dr Jacinta O'Shea

    University of Oxford

Project summary

People with depression suffer low mood and lack of motivation, and they have a high risk of suicide. Current treatments rely on drugs or psychotherapy, but they are slow to take effect and only work for some people. Non-invasive brain stimulation, where patients' brains are stimulated safely and painlessly while they rest, is a promising new treatment that could be a better option. 

I aim to improve stimulation by using the fact that depressed people focus on negative information. I will stimulate the brain areas that control negative focus while people play simple computer games. I predict better results than stimulating during rest and I will test this in scientific experiments. I predict that patients who show less negative focus after one week of treatment will get better within six weeks. 

My work aims to explain and improve how non-invasive stimulation treats depression.