Video: CSHL Professor Fritz Henn discusses the challenge of tracing depression’s circuitry




CSHL Professor Fritz Henn, M.D., Ph.D., discusses in the accompanying video interview the challenge of finding the mechanisms underlying depression, an illness that is the leading cause of disability globally, according to the World Health Organization.  Dr. Henn, a former co-director of Life Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory, recently teamed up with CSHL Assistant Professor Bo Li, Ph.D., and UCSD Professor Roberto Malinow, Ph.D., on a series of experiments using a rat model of depression to test the hypothesis that neural hyperactivity in a tiny structure in the midbrain called the lateral habenula (LHb) is causally linked with depressive behavioral symptoms.  Symptoms were reversed in the model rats using a technique called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which in this case called for the implantation of electrodes into the LHb.  The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature on Feb. 24th.  In this 9-minute video, recorded Feb. 22, 2011, Dr. Henn is interviewed by CSHL senior science writer Peter Tarr.

Written by: Peter Tarr, Senior Science Writer | tarr@cshl.edu | 516-367-8455