The current state, challenges and future directions of DBS for OCD

By Todd Taylor

For some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, conventional treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and medications, are ineffective in relieving their symptoms. In these cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS), a treatment most often used for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, can be an option under a U.S. Food and Drug Administration humanitarian device exemption.

portrait of Lauren FantyA new review in the journal Expert Review of Medical Devices examines the current state, challenges and future directions of DBS for OCD. Led by Lauren Fanty, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology, and colleagues at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health, the review addresses:

  • The evolution of DBS targeting in OCD
  • The concept of an underlying unified connectomic network
  • Current DBS targets
  • Challenges facing the field
  • Future directions which could advance personalized DBS in OCD

“To continue increasing efficacy of DBS for OCD, the field needs to create individual blueprints based on structural and functional markers. This requires a better understanding of how modulation of different circuits contributes to therapeutic success across different neuropsychiatric domains of OCD,” the authors write.

Read the review in Expert Review of Medical Devices.