News FocusNeuroscience

Boosting Brain Activity From the Outside In

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Science  18 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5520, pp. 1284-1286
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5520.1284

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A slew of recent clinical trials in the United States and abroad has indicated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can lift depression in some patients who are resistant to other types of therapy. A few studies have suggested that it can also ease symptoms of schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Parkinson's disease, although these findings aren't as well established as those on depression. One recent study even shows that well-aimed rTMS can speed one's ability to solve puzzles. But exactly how it works is a bit of a mystery.