Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental health condition caused by stressful life events, biological factors, genetics, or traumatic experiences. It involves a disruption of the communication between the frontal lobe and the deep structures of the brain. These parts normally rely on serotonin, a communication device across nerve cells in the body, to exchange messages. Thus, it is concluded that increased serotonin can lead to a decrease in OCD symptoms. However, the discovery was published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry It shocked psychologists and those working in the field of mental health. The study found that deep brain stimulation can help reduce OCD symptoms by an astonishing 50%. We must understand deep brain stimulation for OCD before we can learn how it works.
What exactly is deep brain stimulation (DBS)?
In DBS, electrodes and an electrical transmission reduce symptoms of various disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, tremors, and dystonia. Electrodes are implanted in specific areas of the brain after passing through two small open holes in the skull. Imaging is used to monitor the position of the electrodes inside the head. It is connected to a pulse generator, and is usually implanted in the upper chest.
A light current passes through the electrode, and electrical signals are sent to the parts of the body that control limb movement. This procedure is risky and may lead to bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage), infection, or other damage to the brain or other parts of the body.
Under the Human Device Exemption, DBS is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it is expensive, and the procedures are time consuming, including preoperative examination and follow-up. This treatment may be taken when symptoms significantly interfere with quality of life. Medicines have little or no effect, and they often lead to more adverse conditions through side effects.
It is recommended that the medical team of neurologists, psychiatrists, and neurosurgeons who perform this procedure are experienced in dealing with OCD and are experts in deep brain stimulation.
Read more: Obsessive-compulsive disorder in the workplace
How does DBS help with OCD?
Deep brain stimulation can help a medical professional identify and target the area that affects or causes OCD symptoms. Thus, it leads to relief and reduction of OCD symptoms. The most common of these symptoms include:-
– Fear of contamination and exposure to germs, which leads to compulsion to cleanliness,
Checking work or tasks for incompleteness and accuracy over and over again,
– Arrange and rearrange things until they are perfect,
– Stock up on materials and prepare for an impending disaster
Engaging in rumination, intellectual or abstract ideas, and more.
Read more: “What I Wish I Knew…” Mental Illness Awareness Week
According to new research, deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help reduce OCD symptoms by about 50%. Deep brain stimulation is a procedure that involves implanting electrodes into the skull and delivering small charges to stimulate nerve cells and parts of the brain. But if you or someone you know is considering this procedure, it is a good idea to consider treatment first. Only after professional evaluation should you decide to go for this treatment. Not sure where to find trustworthy and licensed advisors?
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