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Brain Stimulation Therapies for Clinicians, Second Edition

Edmund S. Higgins, M.D., and Mark S. George, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-167-9
  • Item #37167

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A comprehensive survey of the state of current practice, this new edition of Brain Stimulation Therapies for Clinicians provides thoroughly updated information on the growing list of electrical stimulation therapies now in use or under study, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), cortical stimulation (CS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), as well as new coverage of promising treatments such as low intensity focused ultrasound pulsation (LIFUP) and temporal interference stimulation (TI). After a brief course on the fundamentals of electricity and a refresher on neuroanatomy, the text explores how electricity works within biological systems before progressing to the chapters on individual therapies, which cover the history and evolution of the treatment, the techniques involved, clinical indications, side effects, and an up-to-date review of the evidence base supporting its use. The book is designed to help the reader cut through the initially daunting alphabet soup (e.g., ECT, TMS) by providing a clear and straightforward analysis of the prevailing techniques—an indispensable resource for both clinicians and patients seeking in-depth knowledge of these acronyms and methods.

The book's noteworthy features are many:

  • Refinements in treatment protocols since the last edition are discussed in detail. For example, the sections on ECT cover advances such as focal electrically administered seizure therapy (FEAST) and magnetic seizure therapy (MST), while the TMS chapter covers theta burst and recent approval for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • The underlying science is addressed in the initial review of electricity and physics, information that is foundational to these treatment modalities, but that clinicians do not encounter in the medical school curriculum. The section also addresses the parameters for brain stimulation and how to determine the right dose.
  • A separate chapter is devoted to low intensity focused ultrasound pulsations (LIFUP) and temporally interfering (TI) electric fields, emerging treatments that have the potential to noninvasively stimulate focal locations deep in the brain without surgery or the implantation of hardware.
  • The section on using DBS for treatment-resistant Parkinson's disease (PD) is thorough, authoritative, and a boon to clinicians assessing the viability and efficacy of treatment options for their PD patients.
  • The new edition retains the amusing, but always informative sidebars highlighting the history of brain experimentation and applications of brain stimulation techniques

Written in a down-to-earth, accessible style by authors at the forefront of progress in the field, Brain Stimulation Therapies for Clinicians is a rigorous, evidence based review of clinical data that focuses on what we know, what we don't know, and the strength of the evidence.


  • About the Authors
  • Foreword to the First Edition
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Basic Electricity
  • Chapter 3. Electrical Brain
  • Chapter 4. Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Chapter 5. Vagus Nerve Stimulation
  • Chapter 6. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Chapter 7. Deep Brain Stimulation and Cortical Stimulation
  • Chapter 8. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
  • Chapter 9. Other Techniques
  • Chapter 10. Future Techniques
  • Appendix by Disease
  • Appendix by Stimulation Method
  • Index

About the Authors

Edmund S. Higgins, M.D., is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has a private psychiatric practice and is a staff psychiatrist for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Mark S. George, M.D., is a distinguished professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neuroscience, as well as director of the Brain Stimulation Laboratory and former director of the Center for Advanced Imaging Research at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He is also a staff psychiatrist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston.

The Second Edition of Brain Stimulation Therapies for Clinicians by Higgins and George is an up-to-date, and beautifully written examination of this field of therapeutics. It is concise and informative, geared to conveying essential information about this field with clarity. After reviewing the nature of electricity and electrical signaling in the brain, Higgins and George summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the major forms of therapeutic brain stimulation. This book is of value to any clinician considering a brain stimulation technology for their patients and for clinicians who desire to keep abreast of how the future of neuropsychiatric treatment is being pioneered.—Harold A. Sackeim, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University; Emeritus Chief of the Department of Biological Psychiatry at New York State Psychiatric Institute; Founding Editor, Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation

Doctors Higgins and George have created a sorely needed resource that promises to elevate its readers' understanding of the basic physics, biology, engineering, and physiological principles surrounding neuromodulation therapies. Reading Brain Stimulation Therapies for Clinicians, Second Edition felt like listening to the authors tell me their favorite stories about history and science over beers. The informal prose often sprinkled with humor (see the box on deep penetration!) kept me chuckling and learning at the same time. Higgins and George expertly and succinctly covered everything the informed clinician needs to know about brain stimulation in under 200 pages. I particularly appreciated the many large and colorful figures; I plan to use them for teaching my own neuromodulation research trainees because they so effectively illustrate the core concepts and take-home points in a clear and simple manner. I imagine the authors had fun writing this book, and I anticipate many will enjoy reading it!—Linda Carpenter, M.D., Director, Butler Hospital TMS Clinic and Neuromodulation Research Facility; Professor, Brown Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

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