Deep brain stimulation in psychiatry
background Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is now used regularly to treat therapy-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorders, and is being applied experimentally for refractory depression, Tourette syndrome, addiction, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and schizophrenia.
aim To review the effects and mechanisms of dbs and to consider the future opportunities for this type of treatment in psychiatry.
method We reviewed the literature using PubMed.
results DBS is effective and safe to use in the treatment of therapy-refractory OCD and has produced encouraging results in cases of refractory depression and Tourette syndrome. However, further investigations are needed with regard to the use of DBS for treating other psychiatric disorders. DBS influences brain networks that are relevant for a whole range of psychiatric symptoms.
conclusion DBS should always be considered as possible treatment for therapy-refractory OCD. DBS often leads to marked and rapid improvement in mood, anxiety, behaviour and other psychiatric symptoms, making it a promising intervention for a variety of refractory patient groups. The development of DBS for psychiatry will benefit from our increased knowledge about how specific brain networks relate to psychiatric dysfunctioning.