March 4, 2010
Psychosurgery Makes Gentle Comeback
Psychosurgery is making a comeback. Recently published case series have shown encouraging results of so-called deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive disorders, and Tourette syndrome. In the current issue of Deutsches Ã“rzteblatt International, authors Jens Kuhn (University of Cologne) and Theo P J Grnder (Max Planck Institute, Cologne) and their co-authors provide an introduction to the method (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107(7)105-13).
In order to determine the clinical utility of DBS in psychiatric disorders, the authors evaluated therapeutic studies from 1980 to 2009. They found improvement rates of between 35% and 70% in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome. The rate of side effects associated with DBS was usually low and mostly reversible by modulating the stimulation parameters.
Although DBS seems to offer new perspectives for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, further studies into its efficacy, mechanisms of action, and side effect profile"”and especially its long term course"”are needed.
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