Brain Stimulation Therapies
The history of brain stimulation with electrical means dates back to the early 19th century.
- Pierre Flourens and Luigi Rolando discovered that different parts of the brain do different things by studying lesions on pigeons and rabbits.
- Eduard Hitzig used electrical stimulation of dogs brains caused muscle contraction and discorvered the motor areas of the brain
- Robert Bartholow and Fedor Krause were some of the first to use electrical stimulation on human patients
- Victor Horsley invented stereotactic methods for brain surgery, which allowed precise location of brain structures
- Walter Rudolf Hess and Jose Delgado help invent chronic electrode implants, which allowed electrodes to dwell in the brains of animals such as cats and monkeys for study
- James Olds and others discovered brain stimulation reward, which showed that chemical or electrical stimulation of certain parts of the brain can be pleasurable
Specific brain stimulation therapies have become approved by the FDA in the latter half of the 20th century.
- Deep brain stimulation was approved for essential tremor in 1997, Parkinson's disease in 2002, and dystonia in 2003. It has been used experimentally for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and chronic pain
- Electroconvulsive therapy has been used since the 1940's for treatment of several psychiatric disorders, but is now mostly used as a treatment for severe refractory depression, mania, and catatonia.
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was first successfully used in 1985. Currently it can be used to treat depression, although the efficacy is debated. Investigational studies are ongoing for use with Parkinson's disease, migraines, and dystonia.
- Vagus nerve stimulation was approved for the treatment of epilepsy in 1997, and treatment resistant depression in 2005.