Biological Therapies for OCD: Psychosurgery

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Psychosurgery is only used when every alternative therapy has been exhausted and a patient's OCD is particularly resistant. The most common form of psychosurgery used to treat OCD is the use of radio-frequency waves to destroy a portion of brain tissue that disrupts a specific circuit in the brain that has been implicated in OCD: the OFC, caudate nuclei, and hypothalamus. In a cingulotomy probes are inserted through the skull into the cingulated gyrus, where connections that regulate the circuit are hyperactive in OCD. The probes are heated and burn the tissue, an alternative to heat is the use of external radiation. 

Baer et al [1995] reported that the cingulotomy procedure is successful in decreasing anxiety and OCD behaviour. More recently…


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