Improved Therapies for OCD Brain Stimulation Offers Hope Publication date : February 11, 2015
Bruno Millet-Ilharreguy, a specialist in OCD and in brain stimulation therapies, works in the psychiatry unit at La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, in Paris. Previously, he directed the university-hospital centre in adult psychiatry on ‘behaviour and basal ganglia’, at the University of Rennes-I.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has gradually found its place in the vast domain of mental illnesses. Characterised by an intractable obsession (compulsive washing, fixation, mania) that takes over the patient’s life, OCD was for many years relegated to the sphere of psychiatry.
‘Classic’ therapies — behavioural, cognitive and medicinal — have shown their efficacy, and thus remain indispensable, but advances in cerebral imaging and neurology have led scientists to identify OCD as a neurological pathology, one that is treatable using new therapies.
The most spectacular results have been obtained with deep brain stimulation, which involves implanting electrodes in the brain, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive way of targeting similar areas in the brain using electromagnetic coils placed on the patient’s skull. This new range of therapies brings hope to the thousands of people who are tortured by their own brains.
• A complete review of OCD and of the latest available therapies.
• Recent therapies offer hope to OCD sufferers.