New directions in the rational design of electrical and magnetic seizure therapies: individualized Low Amplitude Seizure Therapy (iLAST) and Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST).
Electroconvulsive therapy remains a key treatment option for severe cases of depression, but undesirable side-effects continue to limit its use. Innovations in the design of novel seizure therapies seek to improve its risk benefit ratio through enhanced control of the focality of stimulation. The design of seizure therapies with increased spatial precision is motivated by avoiding stimulation of deep brain structures implicated in memory retention, including the hippocampus. The development of two innovations in seizure therapy-individualized low-amplitude seizure therapy (iLAST) and magnetic seizure therapy (MST), are detailed. iLAST is a method of seizure titration involving reducing current spread in the brain by titrating current amplitude from the traditional fixed amplitudes. MST, which can be used in conjunction with iLAST dosing methods, involves the use of magnetic stimulation to reduce shunting and spreading of current by the scalp occurring during electrical stimulation. Evidence is presented on the rationale for increasing the focality of ECT in hopes of preserving its effectiveness, while reducing cognitive side-effects. Finally, the value of electric field and neural modelling is illustrated to explain observed clinical effects of modifications to ECT technique, and their utility in the rational design of the next generation of seizure therapies.
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