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Brain stimulation therapies 

Brain stimulation therapies
Brain stimulation therapies

Daniel W. O’Connor

and Chris Plakiotis

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date: 25 September 2021

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) all entail the delivery of electrical impulses to the brain with the aim of relieving mental disorders. ECT is an effective treatment of depression, mania and catatonia and, to a lesser extent, of schizophrenia. Its side effects, principally cognitive impairment, are mitigated through the use of individually tailored, unilateral delivery. TMS is more convenient but of lesser effectiveness. DBS, while reversible and thus safer than lesional surgery, is a major undertaking that is reserved at present for profoundly disabling depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.

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