Jul 10, 2008

Electromagnetic Treatments for Depression Seek to Improve on ECT

medpage TODAY publised a nice summary of neuromodulatory approaches for depression. The following topics are discussed:
  • Vagus nerve stimulation
  • Magnetic seizure therapy
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Implantable cortical stimulation
The new(er) kid on the block is obviously Implantable cortical stimulation, the author writes about this technique:

Another early-stage investigational technology takes vagus nerve stimulation a step farther. Instead of delivering electrical pulses to a nerve, it sends them to the surface of the brain. Seattle-based Northstar Neurosciences is testing a system that, like vagus nerve stimulation, inserts a pulse generator in the patient's chest. An electrical lead is passed into the skull through a surgically drilled hole, terminating on the dural membrane over the cortex.