Modulating affect, cognition, and behavior - prospects of deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders

Thomas E. Schlaepfer, Bettina Bewernick, Sarah Kayser, Diane Lenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Most patients suffering from psychiatric disorders respond to combinations of psycho- and psychopharmacotherapy; however there are patients who profit little if anything even after many years of treatment. Since about a decade different modalities of targeted neuromod-ulation - among them most prominently - deep brain stimulation (DBS) - are being actively researched as putative approaches to very treatment-resistant forms of those disorders. Recently, promising pilot data have been reported both for major depression (MD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Given the fact that patients included in DBS studies had been treated unsuccessfully for many years with conventional treatment methods, renders these findings remarkable. Remarkable is the fact, that in case of the long-term studies underway for MD, patients show a stable response. This gives hope to a substantial percentage of therapy-resistant psychiatric patients requiring new therapy approaches. There are no fundamental ethic objections to its use in psychiatric disorders, but until substantial clinical data is available, mandatory standards are needed. DBS is a unique and very promising method for the treatment of therapy-resistant psychiatric patients. The method allows manipulating pathological neuronal networks in a very precise way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalFrontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Major depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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