Brain Stimulation Techniques

Brain stimulation techniques or therapies are used to treat mental disorders or conditions by activating or inhibiting the brain using electricity. This can be accomplished by using electrodes that are surgically placed on the brain or noninvasively using electrodes on the exterior of the scalp.

An example of a brain stimulation technique is transmagnetic cranial stimulation (TMS) which is a non-invasive procedure that uses a large metal coil with electromagnetic components that is placed on the scalp over particular regions of the brain and has been shown to be effective in treating some medical conditions.

Another example is deep brain stimulation (DBS) which is a surgical procedure that implants a medical device known as a neuro-stimulator into the brain. The implanted electrodes are used to electrically stimulate selected portions of the brain to treat movement and/or affective disorders such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis along with disorders such as major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Other examples include vagus nerve stimulation (VGS) and magnetic seizure therapy (MST). Brain stimulation therapies are typically only used when other treatment methods (such as medication and therapy) have been ineffective and sometimes it is used in conjunction with medication and therapies.

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