Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België vol:65 issue:6 pages:385-99; discussion 399-400
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a worldwide psychiatric disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 2% and mainly characterized by obsessional ideas and compulsive behaviors and rituals. Many patients show improvement under cognitive behavioral and/or pharmacological treatment. A minority of patients is refractory to all available therapy and may benefit from capsulotomy. This study aims to investigate deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a last resort treatment alternative to capsulotomy in treatment refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eight patients have been implanted bilaterally in the anterior limbs of the internal capsules with a quadripolar electrode. This paper presents the results of the first 4 operated patients. Acute deep brain stimulation displays an immediate improvement of the speech, mood, eye contact and motor function. Chronic deep brain stimulation improves significantly the obsessional and compulsive symptomatology in three out of the four patients. This study definitely needs replication, but the results are promising. Reversible deep brain stimulation may improve the symptomatology of treatment refractory OCD patients, without significant side effects.