Guidelines on Brain Stimulation Treatments in Psychiatry


Key Questions: What is the significance of brain stimulation therapies in psychiatry? What are some major therapies and other brain stimulation methods?

Clinical psychiatrists are being made aware of the need for new treatment for patients with severe neuropsychiatric disorders. New brain stimulation techniques are quickly emerging as highly promising novel avenues for treating psychiatric disorders in general, and major depression in particular. The World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) has recognized the important role that brain stimulation techniques are beginning to play in on our field, possibly one day even coming close to rivaling the role of neuropsychopharmacology. The WFSBP has therefore instituted a task force on brain stimulation therapies in order to both stimulate research activity and summarize available research data in a peer review process to provide guidance for research and treatment application of these new methods. The publication of these treatment guidelines for a wide range of psychiatric disorders is a step towards achieving these objectives.


  • Introduction
  • Significance of brain stimulation therapies
  • Major therapies
    • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
    • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)
    • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
    • Magnetic seizure therapy (MST)
    • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • Other brain stimulation methods
    • Extradural cortical stimulation (ePCS)
    • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Contact Person/Organization: 

Thomas E. Schlarpfer, Mark S. George, Helen Mayberg; World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry

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