OBJECTIVE: Investigation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a last-resort treatment alternative to capsulotomy in treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). METHOD: Prospective single-case based design with evaluation of DBS impact on emotions, behaviour, personality traits and executive function in three patients with OCD. RESULTS: Two patients experienced sustained improvement of OCD symptoms with DBS. Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) dropped 12 points and 23 points to baseline and Y-BOCS self-rating scale (Y-BOCS-SRS) and Profile of Mood States (POMS) for depression and tension decreased with increasing stimulation amplitude. Total Maladjustment Score on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale reduced with 44 and 59% to baseline. Reduction in psychopathology was sustained under continuous stimulation. No deleterious impact of DBS on neuropsychological testing or personality traits measured on a self-rated personality inventory was detected. CONCLUSION: These preliminary findings demonstrate that DBS may have important therapeutic benefits on psychopathology in OCD. No harmful side-effects were detected during follow-up (33/33/39 months, respectively).