Deep brain stimulation and ablation for obsessive compulsive disorder: evolution of contemporary indications, targets and techniques.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Surgical therapy for treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) remains an effective option for well-selected patients managed within a multidisciplinary setting. Historically, lesions within the limbic system have been used to control both obsessive thoughts and repetitive compulsions associated with this disease. We discuss classical targets as well as contemporary neuromodulatory approaches that have been shown to provide symptomatic relief. Recently, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the anterior limb of the internal capsule/ventral striatum received Conformité Européene (CE) mark and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for treatment of intractable OCD. Remarkably, this is the first such approval for neurosurgical intervention in a strictly psychiatric indication in modern times. This target is discussed in detail along with alternative targets currently being proposed. We close with a discussion of gamma knife capsulotomy, a modality with deep historical roots. Further directions in the surgical treatment of OCD will require better preoperative predictors of postoperative responses, optimal selection of individualized targets, and rigorous reporting of adverse events and standardized outcomes. To meet these challenges, centers must be equipped with a multidisciplinary team and patient-centered approach to ensure adequate screening and follow up of patients with this difficult-to-treat condition.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tierney, TS; Abd-El-Barr, MM; Stanford, AD; Foote, KD; Okun, MS

Published Date

  • June 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 124 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 394 - 402

PubMed ID

  • 24099662

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1563-5279

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3109/00207454.2013.852086


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England