Brain Stimulation for OCD Leads to 'Foreign Accent Syndrome'
A. Rosaura Polak, MSc, of University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center and colleagues report on an unusual effect of deep brain stimulation in two Dutch patients with OCD. Now commonly used for Parkinson's disease, brain electrical stimulation has also emerged as a new treatment for treatment-refractory OCD that doesn't improve with medications. In both patients, OCD symptoms improved with brain stimulation.
However, there were also some unexpected language-related side effects. Both patients began speaking in a different accent, either in an accent that was common in their native region or with a more distinguished pronunciation. The changes were similar to a rare "foreign accent syndrome" reported in stroke patients.
Other changes included a more "aggressive vocabulary," such as swearing; and "hypomanic" behaviors, such as hyperactivity and excitability. In both patients, the language changes persisted after adjustment to the brain stimulation patterns. The results suggest that deep brain stimulation for OCD "influences not only mood and behavior but also linguistically related circuitry," the researchers write.
Plans for Trial of New Vaccine for Recurrent Gliomas
John Goldberg and colleagues of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine outline plans for a clinical pilot study to assess a "dendritic cell vaccine" for patients with gliomas that recur after surgery. The vaccine consists of the patients' own immune cells, mixed with fragments of destroyed tumor cells.
The goal of the vaccine is to stimulate the patients' own immune system to attack the tumor cells. Similar dendritic cell vaccines have shown promising results in previous studiesin one small study, one-third of patients were alive and free of brain cancer at five years' follow-up.
Before vaccination, pat
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