New Guideline Recommends Brain Stimulation For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treatment
Obsessive-compulsive disorder can completely derail a person’s life especially if they go without treatment, but unfortunately seeking treatment for the disorder isn’t currently a guarantee for recovery. Medications and psychotherapy are effective for many, but estimates suggest that 40-60% of patients continue to experience symptoms following treatment.
Another possible treatment is believed to be effective in those who don’t respond to medication and therapy, but the majority of studies on deep brain stimulation have involved only a small number of participants.
However, the existing evidence seems to be enough for a group of experts sponsored by the American Society of Sterotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons to issue a new clinical guideline in the journal Neurosurgery recommending the treatment for those who do not respond to traditional treatments.
Before issuing the guideline, the experts performed a systematic review including more than 350 papers to assess the efficacy of the treatment and found that deep brain stimulation on both sides of the brain – “bilateral stimulation” – is a “reasonable therapeutic option” for those with the condition who don’t respond to other treatments.
The researchers emphasize that more research should be done due to the current limits on sample sizes involved in research on the condition, but their findings indicate the reliability and safety of the treatment strongly enough for them to suggest the treatment be made available to patients in need now.