On Demand Grand Rounds: Digital Neurotherapy: Next Gen Treatment for CNS Disorders

This presentation was re-reviewed on May 13, 2024, and broadcast live online on May 4, 2022, from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET. 

The views and opinions expressed by this presenter in this lecture are their own, and do not represent the views of Sheppard Pratt.

In the US, 60% of adolescents and young adults with major depressive disorders reported receiving no treatment in the previous year. The same for 45% of adults with serious mental disorders in Canada, the US, Chile, Germany and the Netherlands. Mental health care systems do not have the capacity to address public mental health treatment needs. The first line of treatment for many or most patients with ADHD, anxiety or depression is pharmacotherapy provided by primary care physicians, yet the efficacy of these treatments has been shown to be limited in multiple meta-analyses. The former Director of the NIMH stated “There are very few new molecular entities, very few novel ideas, and almost nothing that gives any hope for a transformation in the treatment of mental illness.” Of candidate new CNS drugs, each developed at cost of >$500M, 93% fail clinical trials. Digital Neurotherapies (DNT), technology-enabled neuroscience, offer a highly promising new approach to these problems. Our brains support cognition, emotion and behavior through the action of dynamically reconfiguring functional systems that integrate action of millions of neurons anatomically distributed across many brain regions. Psychiatric symptoms and illness result when these systems are disrupted. DNT repairs neurosystem function using the same sensory input and neuroplastic process responsible for the original post-natal shaping of the systems by environmental input. It produces targeted activity-dependent enhancement of system function with few of no side-effects. Studies have shown it to be highly effective as a supplement or alternative to medications.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, counselors and other mental health professionals. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, attendees will be able to:

  1. Distinguish that brain function is based on dynamically reconfiguring neurosystems that integrate the action of millions of neurons across the brain, and clinical illness results from disruption of these systems.
  2. Recognize that limited efficacy and high side effects of somatic therapies like medication, TMS and tCDS result from lack of alignment with the brain’s functional organization.
  3. Understand that digital neurotherapy is a new class of brain-based therapy that works by repairing neurosystem dysfunctions.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACEP NBCC clock hours
  • 1.00 Category II credits for Social Workers
  • 1.00 Psychologists
  • 1.00 Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Sheppard Pratt’s Professional Education Program is pleased to provide Wednesdays at Sheppard Pratt free of charge as a public service to the mental health community.  Your tax-deductible donations will help maintain the outstanding quality of this service.

Sheppard Pratt is dedicated to improving quality of life through mental health, special education, and addiction services for children, adolescents, adults and older adults.  Our patient-centered treatment approach, combined with our legacy of clinical excellence, sets us apart from other health systems on both a local and national level.  We have been ranked among the nation’s top psychiatric hospitals for 24 consecutive years by U. S. News &  World Report.  Founded in 1853 by philanthropist Moses Sheppard, Sheppard Pratt Health System still abides by its Quaker traditions and values.

Sheppard Pratt regularly hosts renowned speakers from across the country at our headquarters in Towson. We provide educational opportunities on subjects including psychiatric disorders, issues of behavioral health, systems-based change, mental and somatic co-morbidities, psychiatric effects on health and health outcomes, advances in neurobiology, and clinical developments in concepts underlying drug treatment of psychiatric disorders. We are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education, the Maryland Nurses’ Association, the Maryland Board of Psychology, the Maryland Board of Social Work, and the National Board of Certified Counselors.


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There is no commercial support for this activity.

About the speaker

Professor Wexler graduated from Harvard College Magna Cum Laude with a major in Government and earned his MD at Albert Einstein of Medicine where he did research on neurotransmitter synthesis in cell cultures, studied for two years with Oliver Sacks, and studied psychiatry at Anna Freud’s clinic in Hampstead and neurology at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square. He trained in psychiatry at Yale University and stayed as a member of the faculty. He argued for the importance of a neurosystems view of normal and abnormal brain function in a 1986 lead paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry, anticipated RDoC in a 1992 Biological Psychiatry paper advocating use of multiple physiological and cognitive measures to move past rather than hope to confirm psychiatry’s 100 year-old diagnostic system, and helped launch the field of digital neurotherapy with a series of intervention and fMRI studies beginning in 1997. This led to new, physiologically-based, technology-enabled, non-pharmacologic treatments for depression and ADHD, programs used in schools to enhance development of cognitive functions necessary for learning and compromised by poverty, and an NIH Director’s Award for paradigm-changing medical research. In 2006, Professor Wexler published Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology and Social Change (MIT press), a seminal text in cultural neuroscience. He has published over 135 peer-reviewed scientific papers and given invited lectures in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Disclosure Statements

Sheppard Pratt holds the standard that its continuing medical education programs should be free of commercial bias and conflict of interest. In accord with Sheppard Pratt's Disclosure Policy, as well as standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the American Medical Association (AMA), all planners, reviewers, speakers and persons in control of content have been asked to disclose any relationship he /she has with any entity producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients, during the past 24 months. All planners, reviewers and speakers have also been asked to disclose any payments accepted for this lecture from any entity besides Sheppard Pratt Health System, and if there will be discussion of any products, services or off-label uses of product(s) during this presentation.

Bruce E. Wexler, MDreports that he is a consultant and equity holder in C8Sciences. He will be discussing research on commercial digital neurotherapies. All of the relevant financial relationships for Dr. Wexler have been mitigated through review. 

Event Planners/Reviewers Disclosures: The following event planners and/or reviewers are reported as having no financial interest, arrangement or affiliation with any entity producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients, during the past 24 months: Todd Peters, MD, Elizabeth Ryznar, MD, MSc, Louis J. Marino, Devi Bhuyan, PsyD, Faith Dickerson, PhD, Carrie Etheridge, LCSW-C, Tom Flis, LCPC, Stacey Garnett, RN, MSN, Stephanie M. Robinson, MSN, RN, PMH-BC, NPD-BC, NE-BC , Heather Billings, RN, Lisa Illum, MLIS, MEd, and Jennifer Tornabene.

Psychologist Statement: Sheppard Pratt is authorized by the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists as a sponsor of continuing education. Sheppard Pratt takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CE activity.  Sheppard Pratt designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 contact hours for Psychologists.

Social Worker Statement: Sheppard Pratt is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners of Maryland to offer continuing education for Social Workers.  Sheppard Pratt takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CE activity. This activity is approved for 1.0 contact hours in Category II credits for Social Workers.

Counselor Statement:  Sheppard Pratt has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5098.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  Sheppard Pratt is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.  This activity is available for 1.0 NBCC clock hours.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACEP NBCC clock hours
  • 1.00 Category II credits for Social Workers
  • 1.00 Psychologists
  • 1.00 Participation
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There is no commercial support for this activity.


Grand Rounds: Digital Neurotherapy: Next Gen Treatment for CNS Disorders

Bruce E. Wexler, MD

Professor of Psychiatry

Yale University School of Medicine

Founder and Chief Scientist

C8 Sciences

New Haven, CT

Re-reviewed on May 13, 2024.
Originally broadcast live May 4, 2022, from 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm ET
Enduring Activity Credit Expiration Date: June 3, 2026.

Activity Time: One hour recorded webinar lecture with a 15-minute evaluation process. Total Time: 1:15


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