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Verh K Acad Geneeskd Belg. 2003;65(6):385-99; discussion 399-400.

Deep brain stimulation in treatment refractory obsessive compulsive disorder.

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University of Antwerp-Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, Department of Psychiatry, Wilrijkstraat 10-B 2650 Edegem.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a worldwide psychiatric disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 2% and mainly characterized by obsessional ideas and compulsive behaviors and rituals. Many patients show improvement under cognitive behavioral and/or pharmacological treatment. A minority of patients is refractory to all available therapy and may benefit from capsulotomy. This study aims to investigate deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a last resort treatment alternative to capsulotomy in treatment refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eight patients have been implanted bilaterally in the anterior limbs of the internal capsules with a quadripolar electrode. This paper presents the results of the first 4 operated patients. Acute deep brain stimulation displays an immediate improvement of the speech, mood, eye contact and motor function. Chronic deep brain stimulation improves significantly the obsessional and compulsive symptomatology in three out of the four patients. This study definitely needs replication, but the results are promising. Reversible deep brain stimulation may improve the symptomatology of treatment refractory OCD patients, without significant side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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