What is Brain Stimulation?
Brain stimulation or Neurostimulation: Expanding Field of Science.
Advances in the field of brain stimulation or neurostimulation are central to the treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Hardly any other field of science has achieved such success in recent years as the technology-based developments in the fight against diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, strokes or depression.
Brain Stimulation and Neurostimulation: Collective terms for technical medical treatment procedures.
The terms brain stimulation and neurostimulation are often used interchangeably. Both refer to technical procedures that aim to directly or indirectly influence the activity of neurons in the brain in order to improve cognitive functions and emotional processes or to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. These different procedures can be invasive or non-invasive.
Invasive and non-invasive processes
Invasive Brain Stimulation requires surgical procedures to place electrodes or devices in or near the brain. One example is deep brain stimulation (THS). In this method, electrodes are implanted in specific areas of the brain associated with movement disorders or psychiatric diseases. Electrical impulses are then delivered to these areas to modulate neural activity. THS is often used to treat Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and essential tremor.
Non-invasive brain stimulation does not require surgery and is therefore more accessible to most people. Methods commonly used today include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS).
All brain stimulation methods can be used as further pillars of treatment concepts additively to behavioural therapies or medication to improve their effectiveness. However, it is important to emphasise that the results of brain stimulation can vary and the safety and long-term effects need further research.
Overall, the field of brain stimulation offers promising possibilities for the treatment of neurological or psychiatric diseases or disorders and can contribute to improving patients’ quality of life.