Congratulations to Drs. Foote, Okun and Ward on the publication of “Six-Nine Year Follow-Up of Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” The article was published in the December 8th edition of Plos One.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) region has shown promise as a neurosurgical intervention for adults with severe treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Pilot studies have revealed improvement in obsessive-compulsive symptoms and secondary outcomes following DBS. We sought to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of DBS of the VC/VS for adults with OCD.
Materials and Methods
A long term follow-up study (73–112 months) was conducted on the six patients who were enrolled in the original National Institute of Mental Health pilot study of DBS for OCD. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected.
Reduction in OCD symptoms mirrored the one-year follow-up data. The same four participants who were treatment responders after one year of treatment showed a consistent OCD response (greater than 35% reduction in Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS)). Another subject, classified as a non-responder, achieved a 26% reduction in YBOCS score at long term follow-up. The only patient who did not achieve a 25% or greater reduction in YBOCS was no longer receiving active DBS treatment. Secondary outcomes generally matched the one-year follow-up with the exception of depressive symptoms, which significantly increased over the follow-up period. Qualitative feedback indicated that DBS was well tolerated by the subjects.
These data indicate that DBS was safe and conferred a long-term benefit in reduction of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. DBS of the VC/VS region did not reveal a sustained response for comorbid depressive symptoms in patients with a primary diagnosis of OCD.