The Role of Stimulation Techniques

  • Steven C. SchachterEmail author
Part of the Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Neurological Disease book series (NSND)


Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common, under-recognized, and undertreated in patients with epilepsy (PWE), and have a profound impact on quality of life. Effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatments are urgently needed for patients whose neuropsychiatric symptoms do not respond to pharmacological or behavioral therapies. Some of the brain stimulation modalities that are effective for seizure control in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy may also be effective for neuropsychiatric symptoms of comorbid psychiatric disorders. This chapter first provides an overview of comorbid psychiatric disorders that have shown symptomatic improvement in brain stimulation studies. Next, the effects of different stimulation techniques on symptoms of these psychiatric disorders in PWE as well as in patients without epilepsy are reviewed. Limitations of our current understanding are then outlined with suggested directions for future research. The role of stimulation techniques in the care of PWE is only beginning to be understood and their potential application to the amelioration of neuropsychiatric symptoms in PWE should be actively pursued.


Neurostimulation Epilepsy Depression Suicidality Anxiety Psychosis Closed-loop 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of NeurologyConsortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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