Navigation Links
Brain Surgery Might Ease Tough-to-Treat OCD
Date:4/17/2012

By Lisa Esposito
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder manage their symptoms through talk therapy and medication. But for some, severe OCD can take over their lives. A few eventually turn to brain surgery, and a new study shows how they fared.

The study included 63 adult patients who underwent "stereotactic anterior cingulotomy" at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1989 to 2010, with long-term data available for 59 of the cases.

"Half these patients had a very significant improvement in their symptoms -- more than 35 percent improvement in the OCD scale that we use," said Dr. Sameer Sheth, chief resident in the department of neurosurgery at the hospital.

"These are patients who are completely refractory (unresponsive) to medical or behavioral therapy and have gone for years, if not decades, completely incapacitated," he added.

Patients who responded "are often still taking their medications and they're still undergoing behavioral therapy, but it's actually making a difference," Sheth said. "They're able to stop the hand washing, stop the checking, stop the hoarding, all these symptoms they had before, and carry on with their lives."

He was scheduled to present the research Tuesday at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons' annual meeting, in Miami.

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder have recurrent, upsetting thoughts that lead them to perform repetitive behaviors or rituals to try and relieve their anxiety. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, one in 100 adults in the United States has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and half are severe cases.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms in severe cases "can take over the entire day," said Kiara Timpano, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Miami who works with patients with OCD.

"With a hand-washing or showering obsession, a person could take up to six hours a day, doing their washing ritual. That's just torture," Timpano added.

Frontline psychological treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder is called exposure therapy. Medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Estimates vary, but for a quarter or more of patients, these therapies don't work.

Neurosurgical options include gamma-knife surgery and deep brain stimulation, as well as cingulotomy. But potential candidates for these options must undergo a rigorous screening, Sheth said.

Both experts emphasized that the surgical candidates in the study had failed rounds of single- and multiple-drug therapies as well as behavioral therapies and were vetted by a multidisciplinary committee.

Most patients who do undergo a cingulotomy don't experience any complications, Sheth said. In his study, he reported, three developed abulia -- a difficulty in interacting and unresponsiveness -- lasting a few days; one patient developed seizures that required medication, and another had an infection.

In addition, he said, two patients committed suicide at some point after undergoing the procedure. One occurred a few weeks after the surgery, and the other about a year later. He noted that along with obsessive-compulsiveness, patients are monitored for depression.

"These patients with this severe OCD often have [co-existing] depression, major depression," he said. "So in a group of moderately to severely depressed patients over a 20-year time span, two out of the 63 is probably a similar fraction to what you'd expect."

The research is ongoing, Sheth added, with the team keeping track of these patients -- who come from all over the world -- indefinitely.

And Timpano noted, "I think it's important that they've demonstrated this follow-up on a fairly large group of patients. It really lets us see how people who've received the cingulotomy do in the long run."

Sheth's team reported on results to date in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2002, and the current results are under review for journal publication. Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The International OCD Foundation has more about obsessive-compulsive disorder.

SOURCES: Sameer A. Sheth, M.D., Ph.D., chief resident, department of neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Kiara Timpano, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of psychology, University of Miami; April 17, 2012, presentation, American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting, Miami


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Gadgets not related to teenagers brain pain
2. Dementia Rates Escalate as Brain Capacity Diminishes with Age
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
5. Physical Changes in Brain Linked to Altered Spirituality
6. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
7. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
8. Brain Scan Shows What Beauty is Worth
9. Study supports alternative anti-seizure medication following acute brain injury
10. Exercise helps protect brain of multiple sclerosis patients
11. Pittsburgh Neurosurgeons Explore Use of Drug that Illuminates Brain Tumor Cells To Guide Surgery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Brain Surgery Might Ease Tough-to-Treat OCD
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... the release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of ... harvested for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now ... and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings ... The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, ... offering. Surgical Procedure ... planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic ... in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced ... research organization as its newest member.  ... president and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, will ... Board of Directors. ... us in support of our efforts to conduct ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: