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The emerging use of technology for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders

Robert H. Howland, MD

Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Luann S. Shutt, MSN

Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Susan R. Berman, MEd

Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Crystal R. Spotts, MEd

Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Timothey Denko, MD

Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

BACKGROUND: Our objective is to review emerging technologies intended for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

METHODS: These technologies include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), magnetic seizure therapy (MST), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), cortical brain stimulation (CBS), and quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG).

RESULTS: The rationale for these technologies, their mechanisms of action, and how they are used in clinical practice are described. rTMS and VNS are effective for treatment-resistant depression. DBS is effective for resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder. QEEG can help predict a patient’s response to an antidepressant. All of these technologies continue to be investigated in treatment studies.

CONCLUSIONS: As these and other emerging technologies for depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders are development and applied, psychiatrists should understand the rationale for these modalities, how they work, and how they can be used in clinical practice.

KEYWORDS: depression, treatment, technology

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2011;23(1):48–62

CORRESPONDENCE: Robert H. Howland, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA, E-MAIL: HowlandRH@upmc.edu
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2011 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

 
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