Brain Devices in Psychiatry

January, 2008 | Vol: 6 Issue: 1

In this issue

Learning Objective


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: The Saga Continues

The last time we took a close look at transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was three years ago (TCPR, Jan 2005), and we concluded that it had promise as a treatment for major depression. In that article, we reported that the company making the device, Neuronetics, would apply for FDA approval as early as Fall of 2005, and that we could be passing magnetic coils over our patients’ heads as early as 2006.

Using EEG to Predict Medication Response

Many psychiatrists are already hearing from patients about “this new technique” of using EEG to predict whether a given antidepressant will work. How good is this technology? Is it even remotely ready for prime time?

Vagus Nerve Stimulation: A Brief Update

VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) was initially developed and approved for treatment-refractory epilepsy. Cyberonics conducted one sham-controlled study for treatment-resistant depression, and while this double-blind study showed no statistical benefit over placebo, an open-label extension showed enough benefit to impress someone at the FDA. In a controversial decision in which the unanimous rejection of an advisory panel was overturned, the FDA approved VNS for treatment-resistant depression on July 15, 2005.

Research Update

Expert QA