Deep brain stimulation may aid severe OCD sufferers
Masters of Social Work students who work with individuals who have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) may find the results of recent research to be of interest.
Scientists have been working on long-term treatment alternatives for individuals with severe OCD, who cannot be treated by behavioral therapy or medication. Many may lose sleep in order to complete their "work" of compulsive behaviors.
Researchers led by Benjamin Greenberg are using deep brain stimulation (DBS) to help severe OCD sufferers increase their quality of life. The method involves the insertion of a thin electrode into the ventral capsule and ventral striatum of the brain, where a network associated with neuropsychiatric illnesses is seated.
In a 2008 study, 73 percent of individuals who carried the DBS implant for three years had a 25 percent reduction in their score on the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive scale. Scientists are not sure of how, exactly, the technique affects the brain to reduce OCD symptoms.
DBS does help afflicted patients become treatable by conventional therapy for the disorder. They can then work to integrate themselves into society at large.
Greenberg hopes to eventually illuminate the precise brain circuitry underlying OCD, depression and other illnesses. This knowledge may help scientists develop increasingly effective therapies.
POSTED BY: ec_admin - February 22nd, 2011 at 03:51pm ( 0 )