Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of OCD
While options like psychotherapy and medication are available for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, in some instances these treatments may not be as effective as desired. In these cases, advanced surgical treatment options like deep brain stimulation may be able to provide more effective results.
If you are interested in using deep brain stimulation to treat your obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is incredibly important that you choose a highly experienced and skilled neurosurgeon to perform the procedure. Dr. Nader Pouratian is a renowned neurosurgeon and recognized expert in deep brain stimulation. He can provide you with the expert medical care you need.
What Is OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of mental health disorder. It causes the person to experience a pattern of various unwanted fears and thoughts that compel them to engage in various repetitive behaviors or actions in order to reduce the stress they are experiencing and quell their thoughts for a brief period of time.
Some common repetitive behaviors caused by OCD can include constant and repetitive washing, counting, and the need to constantly check on something. These compulsions need to be performed which means they can be highly intrusive to normal daily life. Performing these compulsions can hinder a person’s ability to work, engage socially, or function normally.
What Is Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes into specific areas of the brain depending on the type of issue or condition being treated. A generator is also implanted that is wired to the electrodes. The generator emits electrical impulses that are sent to the electrodes in the brain. The generator is precisely programmed to help regulate the electrical activity occurring in the brain to help manage the issues being experienced.
Deep brain stimulation is used to treat issues like:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Essential Tremor
- Chronic Pain
- Facial Pain
Treating OCD with Deep Brain Stimulation
The first thing to note is that DBS should only be considered for those with treatment-resistant OCD. In order to be considered for DBS, you must first try cognitive behavioral therapy for an extended period of time and try taking medication for the treatment of your OCD. If both these options have proven to ineffective, DBS can be considered.
The process will involve performing several brain scans so that our team can locate the area of the brain that is causing your OCD symptoms. From there, our team will perform the procedure to implant the electrodes into that part of the brain. The electrical impulses will be programmed based on your unique needs to help minimize the symptoms of OCD.
Take the Next Step
While deep brain stimulation is not a cure for OCD, it can help to noticeably reduce symptoms, reduce the amount of medication needed to treat the issue, and improve the patient’s quality of life. To learn more about deep brain stimulation for the treatment of OCD, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pouratian.