Deep Brain Stimulation Think Tank IX
9th Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Think Tank

International Experts + Zoom

 It is hard to believe that the DBS Think Tank is entering is 9th year.  In 2021 we are excited to welcome speakers in person.  The remaining DBS Think Tank community will be able to attend by zoom technology.  As always, we will have a published proceedings. Last year, as a DBS Think Tank group, we estimated that 208,000 deep brain stimulation devices had been implanted to address neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders worldwide. DBS Think Tank presenters pooled data and determined that DBS expanded in its scope and had been applied to multiple brain disorders in an effort to better modulate neural circuitry.  We believe the DBS Think Tank meeting has helped in this global effort to spread knowledge, create collaboration and to create momentum for the field. This past year there was a satellite meeting in China for Asia, Oceania and Australia with a published proceedings.

The DBS Think Tank was founded in 2012 to provide a space where clinicians, engineers as well as researchers from industry and academia could discuss current and emerging DBS technologies. The group also set out to tackle logistical and ethical issues facing the field. The emphasis was and has been on cutting edge research as well as collaboration aimed to advance the DBS field. Promotional activities and influence from industry on the agenda has remained strictly prohibited. The meeting is designed so that there is equal time for presentations and for discussions. The agenda is set by suggestions from current and previous attendees. We always receive more suggestions than we can accommodate, but we are appreciative for the active participation in constructing a fresh and cutting edge agenda.

In the Eighth Annual DBS Think Tank which, was held virtually on September 1st and 2nd, 2020, the meeting focused on advances in: (1) optogenetics as a tool for comprehending neurobiology of diseases and on  optogenetically-inspired DBS, (2) cutting edge of emerging DBS technologies, (3) ethical issues affecting DBS research and access to care, (4) neuromodulatory approaches for depression, (5) advancing novel hardware, software and imaging methodologies, (6) use of neurophysiological signals in adaptive neurostimulation, and (7) use of more advanced technologies to improve DBS clinical outcomes. There were 178 attendees who participated in a DBS Think Tank survey, which revealed the expansion of DBS into several indications, such as obesity, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease.  

We are delighted to announce this years DBS Think Tank IX agenda. Because of COVID-19, only the speakers from the United States will attend the Tank in person.  All other attendees, along with the speakers from Europe,  Asia and Australia will join by zoom technology.  The larger DBS community (beyond speakers) will also be able to contribute DBS or neurotechnology articles for peer review to be included in our special Frontiers issue. The issue is co-edited by Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, James Giordano, Casey Halpern, Christopher Butson and Michael Okun.

Wednesday, August 25 , 2021

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Light breakfast for in-person attendees

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

International DBS Think Tank Updates from Europe


Which is the best predictor for DBS clinical response, and what is the clinical criteria predicting deep brain stimulation response?
Günther Deuschl, MD, PhD
Christian-Albrechts University Kiel


Optimizing asleep deep brain stimulation
Hagai Bergman, MD, PhD
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center, Israel


Electrophysiology and neuroimaging for optimal deep brain stimulation
Muthuraman Muthuraman, , PhD
Johannes-Gutenberg-University Hospital, Mainz, Germany

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM break/individual lunch for in-person attendees

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Zoom only, not in person)

Asia and Oceania Updates

Updates on Tourette deep brain stimulation in Australia
Peter Silburn, MD


Updates on telemedicine for DBS care in China
Luming Li, PhD
Tsinghua University 

Advances in DBS in Japan
Genko Oyama, MD, PhD
Juntendo University

3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Opening reception for in-person attendees

Industry Blitz and Discussion on Cutting Edge Technology  (details to follow)

Thursday, August 26, 2021

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Light breakfast for in-person attendees

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Neuroethics of Neuromodulation Overseas and outside the lines’ 

 How cultures’ differing ethics enable both research and medical tourism
James Giordano, PhD


The risks of differing ethics to public health and national security
Dr. Diane DiEuliis
National Defense University

A proposed ‘internationally relevant’ neuro-ethicolegal framework for DBS 
John Shook, PhD
University at Buffalo

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM break/individual lunch for in-person attendees

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Interventional Psychiatry: Updates from the NIH Brain Initiative 


Nonlinear recovery in EEG and fine-grained behavior during SCC DBS for depression
Helen Mayberg, MD
Mt. Sinai NY

Combined cortical and subcortical recording and stimulation as a circuit-oriented treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder 
Darin Doughtery, MD,
Harvard (added zoom discussion by Alik Widge, MD PhD, University of Minnesota)

DBS for depression using “inverse solutions” enabled by intracranial recordings
Sameer Sheth, MD, PhD

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Advances in Adaptive DBS

Updates on bilateral STN adaptive DBS strategies
Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD, PhD

Trimming beta bursts in the GPi and STN: Early experience with an embedded device
Philip Starr, MD, PhD


Using physiology to drive tremor suppression
Enrico Opri, PhD
Emory University

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Dinner for in-person attendees

Keynote speaker: Scott Barry Kaufman 

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

When psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman first discovered Maslow’s unfinished theory of transcendence, sprinkled throughout a cache of unpublished journals, lectures, and essays, he felt a  deep resonance with his own work and life. In this groundbreaking book,  Kaufman picks up where Maslow left off, unraveling the mysteries of his unfinished theory, and integrating these ideas with the latest research on attachment, connection, creativity, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived.

Kaufman’s new hierarchy of needs provides a roadmap for finding purpose and fulfillment–not by striving for money, success, or “happiness,” but by becoming the best version of ourselves, or what Maslow called self-actualization. While self-actualization is often thought of as a purely individual pursuit, Maslow believed that the full realization of potential requires a merging between self and the world. We don’t have to choose either self-development or self-sacrifice, but at the highest level of human potential we show a deep integration of both. Transcend reveals this level of human potential that connects us not only to our highest creative potential, but also to one another.

Friday, August 27, 2021

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM Light breakfast for in-person attendees

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Advances in Neuromodulation 

Closed loop spinal neuromodulation for chronic pain 
Lawrence Poree, MD, PhD, MPH


Personalized circuit mapping and DBS for pain 
Prasad Shirvalkar, MD, PhD

New data-driven electrophysiology outcome measures and insights into SCC DBS for depression
Chris Rozell, PhD
Georgia Tech

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Network Modulation for Drug Resistant Epilepsy

Drug resistant epilepsy:  Generalized & focal epilepsy networks
Giri Kalamangalam, MD
University of Florida


Electrical brain stimulation for epilepsy…past & future
Greg Worrell, MD
Mayo Clinic Rochestor

Targeting the initiation and circuit propagation of seizures with implanted stimulators
Kai Miller, MD PhD
Mayo Clinic

12:30 – 1:30 PM break/individual lunch for in-person attendees

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM 

Neuromodulation for TBI


Central lateral thalamus/dorsal tegmental tract medial (CL/DTTm) deep brain stimulation to restore impaired mesocircuit function after brain injury
Nicholas Schiff, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine, NY

Selective activation of central thalamic pathways facilitates behavioral performance
Christopher Butson PhD
University of Florida


The CENTURY-S Trial: Surgical technique and preliminary results
Jaimie Henderson MD
Stanford University