Mario Della Grotta lay awake on the operating table as doctors drilled two half-inch holes in his skull. He could hear the drill’s whine, feel its vibrations in the bone. But he sensed nothing when they took the crucial step: sliding a pair of wires deep into the white folds of his brain.
Conference Report from The American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting 2006 is showing promise results in treatment refactory OCD:
SAN FRANCISCO, April 24 — Deep brain stimulation significantly reduced symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) according to long-term results of a pilot study reported today.
Four of eight patients followed for 36 months after implantation of the stimulator had a reduction of at least 35% in OCD symptoms and two more patients reduced symptoms by 25% to 35%, said Ali Rezai, M.D., chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Neurological Restoration, at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting here.
Den amerikanske virksomhed Medtronic vil snart søge godkendelse hos den amerikanske lægemiddelstyrelse Food and Drug Agency om godkendelse af deres produkt Activa til behandling af behandlingsresistent OCD. Activa benytter Deeb Brain Stimulation terapi og er reversibel modsat for eksempel neurokirurgi.
Brain surgery, in any form, to treat people with psychiatric illness was virtually abandoned after public outcry over the abuse of lobotomies half a century ago. But recent progress in neuroscience is igniting renewed interest in this field. Tried and tested in the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinsonï¿½s Disease, neurosurgeons are hopeful that certain brain surgery techniques may also help to relieve the crippling symptoms of psychiatric illnesses like obsessive compulsive disorder. One technique, known as deep brain stimulation, uses an electric current, from electrodes implanted in the brain, to alter the brainï¿½s function. Itï¿½s still experimental and only about 20 patients world wide have undergone the operation. But because the stimulator can be switched on and off and the electrodes removed, the effects are completely reversible. Graham Easton explores the science and the ethics of operating on the brain to cure the mind.
The program was broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 Tuesday 1 April 2003 9.00-9.30pm.