What is deep brain stimulation (DBS)?
- A new brain stimulation procedure approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for chronic and treatment resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
- A pulse generator, similar to a heart pacemaker and implanted under the chest, sends electrical pulses into the brain.
- Electrodes implanted in your brain activate regions thought to be associated with your OCD.
What is DBS used for?
- DBS has been proven as an effective treatment for neurological disorders such as essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease
- In addition, DBS is being studied as an alternative or added treatment for severe depression and obsessive compulsive disorder when other standardized treatments including:
- Antidepressant medications,
- Psychotherapy or
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) fail to produce significant improvements.
DBS does not necessarily replace your medications.
How many people have received DBS?
- More than 55,000 people worldwide have received DBS for a number of neurological conditions.
What is it like to receive DBS?
- Brain surgery is required to implant the electrodes on both sides of your brain.
- Chest surgery is required to implant the pulse generator in your chest.
- The pulse generator is connected to the electrodes in your brain through wires under your skin.
- Two to three weeks after the surgery:
- Your doctor will activate the device at his office.
- You will receive a level of stimulation suitable for your situation and depending on your side effects.
- You will be able to turn off the pulse generator using a hand-held magnetic device
You will be following up regularly with your doctor to make sure that the device is working properly.
What are the risks of DBS?
- Like other medical treatments, DBS has risks and side effects associated with the surgery and after the surgery
- You can ask your doctor about the possibility of these risks
What are the benefits of DBS?
- DBS may improve your symptoms, although it will be several months before these improvements occur.