Brain Stimulation in Psychiatric Treatment

Topic: Psychiatry
Words: 376 Pages: 1

My reactions to the readings and what I have learned about brain stimulation (BS) modalities vary, and the rationale depends on each paper’s credibility and whether the outcomes of BS outweigh the risks. The reviewed sources primarily discuss deep brain stimulation, which I am rather in favor of due to the method’s benefits. For instance, Graat et al. (2017) have put a sufficient effort into their article, as they have examined considerable academic works. Despite slaw development and some contradictions in research, the method progresses consistently and can help severely ill psychiatric patients who are unresponsive to other treatments (Graat et al., 2017). Furthermore, Weaver et al. (2009) have assessed fine scholarly papers and conducted an empirical study that appears reasonable in investigating deep BS. Weaver et al. (2009) suggest that the method is more effective than medical therapy in patients with moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease. Notably, Burns et al. (2009), who do not focus on BS, state that the technique has good response rates but is associated with a risk of fatal hemorrhage. Consequently, I support BS modalities but think that the treatment must be employed with precautions.

Different variations of brain stimulation exist, one of them being DIY (do-it-yourself), which, in my opinion, is affiliated with substantial controversy. DIY BS refers to using devices to facilitate brain activity outside professional or medical settings (Lin, 2020). Such a technique is often utilized to improve cognitive ability concerning working memory, attention, and perception (Lin, 2020). However, measuring the effectiveness of DIY BS is complicated due to such factors as lack of research and dissimilarities in impacting distinct individuals (Lin, 2020). For example, one of the most renowned DIY BS Lumosity was accused of claiming that its games enhance cognitive capacities despite having no scientific evidence (Wade, 2018). Although Lumosity is said to assess such skills as logical reasoning, task switching, and response inhibition, the technology has been questioned by both academic and popular media (Wade, 2018). Notably, DIY BS has some positive outcomes, but people who employ the method are likely to rely on their subjective judgments to determine the results (Lin, 2020). Therefore, I think that do-it-yourself BS may be a fine way of challenging one’s brain, but it does not guarantee cognitive enhancement.


Burns, B., Watkins, L., & Goadsby, P. J. (2007). Treatment of medically intractable cluster headache by occipital nerve stimulation: long-term follow-up of eight patients. The Lancet, 369(9567), 1099-1106. Web.

Graat, I., Figee, M., & Denys, D. (2017). The application of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. International Review of Psychiatry, 29(2), 178-190. Web.

Lin, Y. T. (2020). DIY brain stimulation: On the difficulty of measuring effectiveness and its ethical implications. Developments in Neuroethics and Bioethics, 3, 179-202. Web.

Wade, M. (2018). Virtuous play: The ethics, pleasures, and burdens of brain training. Science as Culture, 27(3), 296-321. Web.

Weaver, F. M., Follett, K., Stern, M., Hur, K., Harris, C., Marks, W. J. (2009). Bilateral deep brain stimulation vs best medical therapy for patients with advanced Parkinson disease: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 301(1), 63-73.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Bipolar Disorder
Mental Health Services and Primary Care