Experts say psychosurgery or deep brain stimulation (DBS) has shown promising results in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive disorders, and Tourette syndrome.
Jens Kuhn (University of Cologne) and Theo P J Gr|nder (Max Planck Institute, Cologne) and their co-authors have given an introduction to the method in the current issue of Deutsches Drzteblatt International.
The authors evaluated therapeutic studies from 1980 to 2009, in an effort to determine the clinical utility of DBS in psychiatric disorders.
Improvement rates of between 35percent and 70percent, in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome, were noted.
Also, the rate of side effects associated with DBS was usually low and mostly reversible by modulating the stimulation parameters.
DBS has been in use as therapeutic option for 20 years in treating ailments like Parkinson's disease.
To administer DBS, two electrodes are implanted into the patient that deliver continuous, high frequency, short electrical impulses, enabling modulation of the functional neuronal ircuits. The electrodes are connected via a cable to an impulse generator, which is usually implanted below the collarbone.