, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 3-13

The history and future of deep brain stimulation


The advancement of electrical stimulation of the central nervous system has been a story of fits and bursts with numerous setbacks. In many ways, this history has paralleled the history of medicine and physics. We have moved from anecdotal observation to double-blinded, prospective randomized trials. We have moved from faradic stimulation to systems that lie completely under the skin and can deliver complex electrical currents to discrete areas of the brain while controlled through a device that is not much bigger than a PDA. This review will discuss how deep brain stimulation has developed into its current form, where we see the field going and the potential pitfalls along the way.