Deep brain stimulation ‘can treat severe OCD’

February 19th, 2011 - 1:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 19 (ANI): Scientists have found that an electrical treatment which zaps away symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can help extreme sufferers unable to cope with everyday life.

By inserting a thin electrode deep into the brain, doctors can precisely deliver an electrical current to a cord of the brain’s wiring and soften the severity of the symptoms.

For patients most severely afflicted with obsessive-compulsive disorder, electrical stimulation of a brain network can rebalance their emotional state, helping them respond to conventional therapy when it never worked before.

New long-term results show that patients’ improvements remain if the treatment continues. But, as with other OCD treatments, Deep brain stimulation is not a cure and can have side effects.

“These techniques are promising but must be used with an abundance of caution,” said Greenberg, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“This is reserved for the small proportion of people who are severely disabled and have not benefited anywhere near adequately from very aggressive use of conventional treatments,” he said.

The study has been presented Feb. 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (ANI)

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