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J Psychosom Res. 2002 Aug;53(2):709-19.

Novel physical treatments for the management of neuropsychiatric disorders.

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  • 1School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.



To briefly describe the novel non-drug physical interventions currently in use in the investigation and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders regarding their efficacy and potential future applications.


A systematic review of the literature concerning transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and neurosurgery for mental disorders (NMD) was conducted using Medline and literature known to the authors.


A summary of each procedure is provided giving a succinct overview of efficacy, current applications and possible future indications.


Novel and innovative physical interventions are currently being used to study brain function in health and disease. In particular, TMS has quickly established itself as a useful investigational tool and is emerging as a possible antidepressant therapy. Similarly, VNS has been applied successfully in the management of intractable epilepsy and is undergoing evaluation in the management of patients with treatment-resistant depression. DBS has shown significant promise in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and may have use in the management of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Finally, neurosurgical procedures for the treatment of mental disorders have been sufficiently refined to stage a comeback, although rigorous scientific study of their efficacy and indications is still necessary.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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