A procedure approved for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease may soon be used to treat certain psychiatric disorders.
Deep brain stimulation, or DBS has been used to quell tremors in Parkinson's patients. The procedure involves the neurosurgeon drilling one or two dime-size holes in the skull and inserting one or two electrodes about four inches into the brain. A connecting wire from the electrode runs under the skin to a battery implanted near the collarbone.
Dr. Douglas Anderson of Loyola University Health Systems has also used DBS to treat patients with debilitating headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and body dysmorphic disorder.
DBS is also being currently studied for possible treatment of depression. Dr. Anderson reports successfully treating a patient with OCD and a patient with body dysmorphic disorder. Body dymorphic disorder is an excessive preoccupation with perceived flaws in the patient's body. These flaws may be minor or even imaginary.
For more information on DBS and the case studies mentioned, see the press release at Loyola University Health System.