Although the acquisitions of the last two decades in the pharmacological treatment of psychiatric disorders have improved the prognosis and the quality of life of patients, a consistent part of subjects remain refractory to the standard recommended treatments. Treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders represent an ongoing challenge for clinicians and researchers, and over the last decade, different forms of treatment, including pharmacological augmentation strategies, psychotherapy augmentation and brain stimulation, have been investigated in order to open new prospects of treatment in this field. Brain stimulation approaches to neuropsychiatric disorders have been increasingly investigated and are currently defining a "third way" of treatment, besides the traditional ones of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. These include Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), and the recent development of a new form of convulsive treatment, Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST). Nevertheless, none of the mentioned treatments, except VNS for treatment-resistant major depression, has received the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, and currently, these techniques should be considered investigational. The aim of the present review was to present the mentioned techniques describing the rational of their use in psychiatric disorders, the procedure, main results of published trials and future directions.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Rivista di Psichiatria|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health