January 10: Treating the Brain for Depression, Anxiety, and Chronic Pain—Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Deep Brain Stimulation and Beyond

Courtesy of NIMH.

Millions in the U.S. suffer from psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Millions more endure chronic pain. Although drugs are typically used to control symptoms, questionable efficacy and negative side effects have spurred the search for alternative treatment methodologies.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)—which noninvasively administers brief, magnetic pulses to the brain—is one approach. Done in the doctor’s office, pulses are administered by passing high currents through an electromagnetic coil adjacent to a patient’s scalp. They induce an electric field in underlying brain tissue that activates neurons in the relevant brain structure.

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) involves a small, imperceptible electric current pulsed across the patient’s head in a device that can be used at home. One is the Fisher Wallace Stimulator, a portable, battery-powered micro-electric pulse generator cleared by the FDA for symptomatic relief of insomnia, anxiety, and depression, and for treating chronic pain.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device. This neurostimulator—similar to a heart pacemaker—is approximately the size of a stopwatch. It is now used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with drugs.

Do They Work? Are They Safe? What is the Science Behind Them?


Dan Iosifescu, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience and head of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is experienced with both TMS and DBS, and his prolific research program focuses on biological markers of treatment outcome in mood disorders. After Dr. Iosifescu received his M.D. in Bucharest, Romania, he spent substantial time at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in specialized training and practice and has been among the “Top Doctors in Boston” (Boston Magazine 2006 and 2008) and the “Best Doctors in America” (in all editions since 2005).

Charles Avery (Chip) Fisher is the president of Fisher Wallace Laboratories, which manufactures the handheld Fisher Wallace Cranial Stimulator. It generates micro-currents of electricity using patented radio frequencies for gently stimulating the brain’s production of serotonin and dopamine. The many peer-reviewed studies and pilot programs—including a successful 399-patient pilot program at Phoenix House—are documented on the company website.

Kelly Brogan, M.D., is a psychiatrist specializing in general adult psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and psychotherapy, and has clinical experience working with the Fisher Wallace Cranial Stimulator.

Abraham Zangen, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Israel, is one of the two key inventors of the deep TMS coils used by Brainsway, which has developed a TMS system that uses direct non-invasive activation of deep brain structure through a patented coil design to produce directed electromagnetic fields that can induce excitation or inhibition of neurons deep inside the brain.

Joshua Berman, M.D. Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director, Program in Experimental Brain Stimulation in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics, at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. He is currently doing work with deep transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
6 pm – 8 pm

ASME Headquarters,
3 Park Avenue (22nd Floor Conference Room)

SWINY member: $5, nonmembers: $10, students: $5.
Join SWINY or renew your lapsed membership—valid through December 2012—for just $25, and pay the member’s fee.


This entry was posted in Events, SWINY Events. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to January 10: Treating the Brain for Depression, Anxiety, and Chronic Pain—Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Deep Brain Stimulation and Beyond

  1. Pingback: Upcoming SWINY Lecture, January 10, 2012: Treating Depression, Anxiety, and Chronic Pain with TMS & CES | Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation

Comments are closed.