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Brain stimulation in psychiatry: methods and magnets, patients and parameters

Kammer, Thomas; Spitzer, Manfred

Current Opinion in Psychiatry:
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328358df8c
CLINICAL THERAPEUTICS: Edited by Dieter Naber and Harold Pincus
Abstract

Purpose of review: Electromagnetic brain stimulation is performed in various ways in psychiatric settings for the treatment of a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Recent findings: Transcranial direct current stimulation is a comparatively simple procedure. The available results warrant optimism regarding the future of this therapeutic approach in psychiatry. Multicentre studies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation demonstrate a moderate treatment effect in depression. Theta burst stimulation and deep brain repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation represent innovative promising developments. The invasiveness of deep brain stimulation still causes this method to be one of the last resorts, even though promising results in severely disordered patients have been published.

Summary: In our view, the field of brain stimulation will be rapidly moving forward in the near future and will establish itself as one more of the ‘tools of the trade’ in psychiatric therapeutic practice.

Author Information

Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany

Correspondence to Thomas Kammer, MD, Section for Neurostimulation, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Leimgrubenweg 12, D-89075 Ulm, Germany.Tel: +49 731 500 61544; fax: +49 731 500 61512; e-mail: thomas.kammer@uni-ulm.de

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.