What Is Brain Stimulation?
In a recent post, we discussed neuromodulation. Today, we want to talk about brain stimulation, which is a bit like neuromodulation’s sibling. The proper name is Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, or NIBS. One important difference between this and the neuromodulation techniques detailed before is the non-invasive aspect. Brain stimulation treatments like TMS use electrodes or electromagnetic coils applied to the scalp that administer a weak current easily tolerated by the body. No implants, no surgery.
A History of Brain Stimulation
Humanity has experimented with methods of brain stimulation via electric currents for centuries. Michael Faraday’s 1831 discovery of electromagnetic induction (a mutable magnetic field producing an electrical current via a conductor) gave the study of brain stimulation a huge boost. Even back in the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, carvings show electric catfish from the Nile River being used to treat pain from maladies like arthritis. Greek writings from the 4th and 5th centuries tell of currents from electric fish used on headaches.
Brain Stimulation Today
Rochester Holistic Psychiatry offers a method of brain stimulation called TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation. We use the NeuroStar set of equipment, approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help with treatment resistant MDD, or major depressive disorder.
TMS shows great promise for treating other disorders like bipolar disorder and addiction, and studies are under way to seek FDA approval for these needs as soon as possible. We have high hopes that TMS will soon be used to create improvements in neuroplasticity in more of the patients we treat. Neuroplasticity is a general term for how the brain changes and adapts its functions to respond to environmental stimuli. The TMS coil is applied to the frontal areas of the brain, which hold many of the regions influencing mood and thought processing.
A Stimulating Future
Rochester Holistic Psychiatry is pleased to be Western New York’s source for the TMS system of therapeutic brain stimulation. Contact us anytime for questions on our services, including telepsychiatry.