Other therapeutic psychiatric uses of superficial brain stimulation

Mario A Cristancho, Pilar Cristancho, John P O'Reardon
Handbook of Clinical Neurology 2013, 116: 415-22
The majority of literature on superficial brain stimulation for the treatment of psychiatric conditions is focused on transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for major depressive disorder. Given its versatility and mode of action, TMS use has been now extended to other psychiatric disorders including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, and disorders of executive function. In this chapter we review the rationale and available evidence for the use of TMS as a treatment option in conditions other than major depression - post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, catatonia, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Although the rationale for its use in the treatment of the above-mentioned conditions is strong, the available evidence is mixed and limited. At this juncture no definitive conclusions or recommendations can be drawn; however, given the existing positive signals and the significant limitations of the presented evidence, further research is warranted to assess the actual role of TMS in the treatment of psychiatric conditions other than unipolar depression.

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