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Cleve Clin J Med. 2010 Jul;77 Suppl 3:S77-80. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.77.s3.14.

Use of deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression.

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Center for Behavioral Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Deep brain stimulation has emerged as an experimental treatment option for the sizeable proportion of patients with major depression that is refractory to multiple medications and psychotherapy. Chronic stimulation of the ventral internal capsule/ventral striatum has been shown to improve function and mood in patients with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, and has likewise been applied to patients with treatment-resistant depression. Multicenter experience with chronic deep brain stimulation of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum in 17 patients with severe treatment-resistant depression has demonstrated sustained improvements across multiple scales of depression, anxiety, and global function. Further research on deep brain stimulation in larger populations of patients with treatment-refractory depression is under way. While such research should benefit from the recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of deep brain stimulation for severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, it must adhere to strict principles for appropriate patient selection.

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