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Brain Stimulation

  • Maximilian Kiebs M.Sc., M.Sc.
  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Silke Lux

The brain stimulation working group is concerned with research into various brain stimulation methods for the treatment of mental illness. Primarily studies are carried out on electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation in patients suffering from depression.

Fields of activity

  • Investigation of neuro- and electrophysiological changes (in particular neuroplasiticity and functional brain activity) caused by non-invasive brain stimulation as a treatment for depression and in particular their relation to clinical effect and potential adverse effects
  • Cognitive effects of non-invasive brain stimulation
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in non-therapy refractory patients
  • Longitudinal study of physical and anaesthesiological parameters and their clinical relevance for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Clinical collaborative projects

Current clinical studies

  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (VNS Therapy®) for Patients with Difficult-to-Treat Depression (RESTORE-LIFE Study; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03320304)
  • Prediction of the Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy Via Machine Learning and Neuroimaging (CoEffECT Study; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03490149)
  • Resting-state Functional Connectivity Throughout a Course of iTBS in Major Depression (DepRest-Study; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03944213)
  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Pharmaco-naïve Patients With Major Depression (NAIV Study, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04000022)

Other current research projects

  • Cognitive effects of non-surgical brain stimulation for major depressive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018118850)
  • Longitudinal review of anaesthesiological and physical parameters of electroconvulsive therapy and their relation to clinical development and undesired effects (in cooperation with Dr. Nils Freundlieb, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy - UKE Hamburg)
  • Comparison of the structural consequences of seizure events in epilepsy with the structural consequences of electroconvulsive therapy (in cooperation with Prof. Dr. med. Rainer Surges, MHBA & Dr. Theo Rüber; Clinic for Epileptology - UK Bonn)

    Cooperations

    • NEMO Research Group - Karl-Jaspers Clinic Oldenburg (Prof. Dr. med. René Hurlemann, M.Sc. Ph.D.)
    • Department of MR Physics - DZNE Bonn (Prof. Dr. Tony Stöcker; Dr. Rüdiger Stirnberg)
    • Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre - Kings College London (Julian Mutz, M.Sc, M.Sc.)
    • Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy - UK Hamburg-Eppendorf (Dr. Nils Freundlieb)
    • Clinic for Epileptology - UK Bonn (Prof. Dr. med. Rainer Surges, MHBA & Dr. Theo Rüber)
    • Dep. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences – University of New Mexico (Prof. Dr. Christopher Abbott)
    • Zentrum für Affektive, Stress- und Schlafstörungen - UPK Basel (Prof. Dr. Annette Brühl & Dr. Else Schneider)

    Team

    • Maximilian Kiebs, M.Sc., M.Sc. ()
    • Max Kayser (Sci-Med PhD Student)
    • Madita Fuchs (Research Assistant)
    • Mag. Clemens Mielacher ()
    • Dr. Margaretha Klein ()
    • Jessica Warnusz (medical thesis)
    • Luisa Wiedemann (medical thesis)
    • Max von Bargen (medical thesis)
    • Katleen Breede (medical thesis)
    • Tabea Stölting (medical thesis)
    • Nora Jakoby (medical thesis)
    • Max Kayser (medical thesis)
    • Akasha Runge (medical thesis)
    • Carolina Buchmann (medical thesis)
    • Andreas Bilo (medical thesis)
    • Larissa Graute (medical thesis)
    • Lea Köster (medical thesis)
    • Anna Metzner (medical thesis)
    • Laura Schmitt (medical thesis)
    • Leah Burggraf (medical thesis)
    • Alina Pierkes (medical thesis)
    • Hanna Steinfels (medical thesis)

    Publications

    • Blanken M, Oudega M, Hoogendoorn A, Sonnenberg C, Rhebergen D, Klumpers U, van Diermen L, Birkenhäger T, Schrijvers D, Redlich R, Dannlowski U, Heindel W, Coenjaerts M, Nordanskog P, Oltedal L, Kessler U, Frid LM, Takamiya A, Kishimoto T, Jørgensen MB, Jørgensen A, Bolwig T, Emsell L, Sienaert P, Bouckaert F, Abbott CC, Péran P, Arbus C, Yrondi A, Kiebs M, Philipsen A, van Waard JA, Prinsen E, van Verseveld M, van Wingen G, Funes CC, Kritzer M, Barbour T, ten Doesschate F, van Eijndhoven P, Tendolkar I, Dols A (2022). Sex-specifics of ECT outcome. (submitted).
    • Kricheldorff J*, Goeke K*, Kiebs M*, Kasten F, Herrmann CS, Witt K, Hurlemann R (2022). Evidence of Neuroplastic Changes after Transcranial Magnetic, Electric and Deep Brain Stimulation. (submitted). Brain Sciences 12, 929. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12070929
    • Clemens M, Scheele D, Kiebs M, Schmitt L, Dellert T, Philipsen A, Lamm C & Hurlemann R (2021). Altered reward network responses to social touch in major depression. medRxiv 2021.11.25.21266854. DOI: 10.1101/2021.11.25.21266854
    • Hebel T, Grözinger M, Landgrebe M, Padberg F, Schecklmann M, Schlaepfer T, ... & Zilles-Wegner D (2021). Evidence and expert consensus based German guidelines for the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in depression. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1080/15622975.2021.1995810
    • Mielacher C, Schultz J, Kiebs M, Dellert T, Metzner A, Graute L, Hoegenauer H, Maier M, Lamm C, Hurlemann R (2020). Individualized theta-burst stimulation modulates hippocampal activity and connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder. Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry 23-24:100066. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmip.2020.100066
    • Kiebs M, Hurlemann R, Mielacher C (2020). Repetitive transkranielle Magnetstimulation in der Depressionsbehandlung. pädiatrische praxis 64:497-506. (second publication)
    • Kiebs M, Hurlemann R, Mielacher C (2020). Repetitive transkranielle Magnetstimulation in der Depressionsbehandlung. Internistische Praxis 63 (1):120-129.
    • Kiebs M, Hurlemann R, Mutz J (2019). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in non-treatment-resistant depression. British Journal of Psychiatry 215(2): 445-446.1-2. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.2019.75
    • Kiebs M, Hurlemann R, Mutz J (2019). Cognitive effects of non-surgical brain stimulation for major depressive disorder: Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open 9(2):e023796. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023796
    • Brem AK, Hurlemann R, Mutz J, Kiebs M, Brem AK (2019). New avenues in brain stimulation treatments for major depression: Efficacy, acceptability, and translation of novel treatments into clinical practice. L'Encéphale Volume 45, Supplement 2, S62, DOI: 10.1016/j.encep.2019.04.061.
    • Schultz J, Becker B, Preckel K, Seifert M, Mielacher C, Conrad R, Kleiman A, Maier W, Kendrick KM, Hurlemann R (2018) Improving therapy outcome prediction in major depression using multimodal functional neuroimaging - a pilot study. Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry 11 - 12: 7 - 15
    • Mielacher C, Scheele D, Hurlemann R (2015) Experimental and therapeutic neuromodulation of emotion and social cognition using non-invasive brain stimulation. Der Nervenarzt 86: 1500 - 1507

    Conference contributions

    • Drawing new lines – Machine-Learning Guided Response Prediction and Bio-Signal Analysis of ECT Index Series (submitted). Kayser M, Schneider E, Freundlieb N & Kiebs M. DGPPN Kongress 2022.
    • Drawing new lines – Machine-Learning Guided Response Prediction and Bio-Signal Analysis of ECT Index Series (submitted). Kayser M, Schneider E, Freundlieb N & Kiebs M. AGNP Kongress 2022.
    • GENET – A novel international research collaboration for the standardized collection and sharing of ECT treatment data and associated biosignals – Implementation, Application and Findings. Vortrag von M Kiebs auf der 4th International Brain Stimulation Conference 2021 (Charleston, USA). Brain Stimulation (14)6:1737-1738. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2021.10.498
    • Once daily versus twice daily theta-burst stimulation in the treatment of major depressive disorders Mielacher C, Kiebs M, Dellert T, Metzner A, Hoegenauer H, Schultz J, Lamm C & Hurlemann R. Poster presented at 3rd International Brain Stimulation Conference 2019. Brain Stimulation 12(2):397. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2018.12.276
    • (no) rTMS in non-treatment refractory patients with depression. Findings from a meta-analysis Kiebs M, Hurlemann R, Fu C H Y & Mutz J. Poster presented at ECNP Congress 2018, European Neuropsychopharmacology 29: 533-34, DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2018.11.790
    • (no) rTMS in non-treatment refractory patients with depression. Findings from a meta-analysis. Lecture by M Kiebs at the ECBSP 2018 - 3rd European Conference on Brain Stimulation in Psychiatry (Lyon)

    Third-party funding

    • 2022: Förderinstrument Klinische Studien UK Bonn (FKS): GENET - a novel international research collaboration for the standardized longitudinal collection and sharing of ECT treatment data and associated biosignals
    • 2022: Sci-Med Forschungsstipendium: AI-based Biosignal-Analysis and Prediction of Treatment Efficacy and Trajectory of ECT as a Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (cand med. Max Kayser)

    Finished Theses

    • Lara Masloch - Systematischer Überblick und Metaanalyse der kognitiven Effekte nicht-invasiver Hirnstimulationsverfahren: Differenzierte Betrachtung unipolarer und bipolarer Depression (University of Bonn)
    • Clara Martin - Der Einfluss von Atropin auf die kognitiven Effekte der Elektrokonvulsionstherapie bei depressiv-affektiven Störungen: eine systematische Übersichtsarbeit und Metaanalyse (University of Cologne)

    Participation in brain stimulation studies

    For our studies we are currently looking for patients with major depression and healthy controls. You can find an article about our studies on rTMS in the treatment of depression here (in German): https://www.ukbnewsroom.de/mit-magnetspule-gegen-die-spirale-negativer-gefuehle/
    Please click on the following link to find a list of all studies currently in progress at the clinic for which prospective students are still being sought.

    Opportunities for internships and dissertations

    Students who would like to write their master's or doctoral thesis on a topic in the field of clinical brain stimulation are welcome to contact .

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