The Brain Stimulation Service at the MUSC Health Institute of Psychiatry offers procedures to help patients with treatment-resistant mood disorders. In many patients, traditional drug or talk therapy treatments have not been effective in relieving major depression.
MUSC Health has been at the forefront of brain stimulation therapy, including the first published use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for depression (1995), the first Vagus nerve implant for depression (1998), an Epidural prefrontal cortical stimulation (EpCS) performed in 2008, and the first Focal Electrically-administered Seizure Therapy (FEAST) done outside of New York (2010).
The physicians at MUSC Health perform a range of brain stimulation procedures that are changing what's possible. These include:
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): ultra-brief pulse unilateral ECT minimizes the cognitive side effects of classic ECT.
- Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): now FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression.
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS): FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression.
- Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): a new FDA-approved treatment for severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
All brain stimulation procedures have been developed by or guided through approval by MUSC researchers and clinicians. The doctors and clinical professionals who developed the science are the people actually treating patients.
The Brain Stimulation Service Team
The Brain Stimulation Lab is pioneering many cutting-edge brain stimulation technologies for neuropsychiatric disorders. Our expert team at the MUSC Health Brain Stimulation Service offers the latest clinical care often generated out of the Brain Stimulation Lab. Our teams overlap and are part of the larger Brain Stimulation Division. The Brain Stimulation Service aligns with MUSC Health’s mission of excellence in innovative clinical delivery, clinical research, and medical education.
Our Care Team
Additional Care Team Members
- Greg Sahlem, M.D.
- Alan Lopez, BSN, RN
- Kris Topping, MHA, BSN, RN | Program Coordinator
- Shayna Epstein, MS, | Hospital-based Administrative Manager
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We strive to reduce neuropsychiatric disease burden on individuals and society through our clinical research and treatment. Our focus primarily involves a brain stimulation paradigm. The brain is an electrochemical organ. We are just beginning to learn about the circuitry of the brain and ways of modifying pathways to treat neuropsychiatric conditions. We are developing treatments that are more focused on the brain, rather than medications alone that commonly effect other systems of the body. The Brain Stimulation Lab has made great strides in these goals, including the first published use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for depression (1995), the first Vagus nerve implant for depression (1998), an Epidural prefrontal cortical stimulation (EpCS) performed in 2008, and the first Focal Electrically Administered Seizure Therapy (FEAST) done outside of New York (2010). Such investigations have been made possible through the generosity of our patients and donors.
Contributions can be made in support of the Department of Psychiatry or can be restricted to benefit the work of a specific clinician or researcher or a specific program within the Department, such as the Brain Stimulation Lab. With your help, we can continue to advance our research and provide a better quality of life for humanity. Thank you for your participation in changing the world.