Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Releases Dopamine in the Brain
Editor’s Note: This is exciting research for all those hoping for a new approach alternative to pharmacological treatments!
[Source: Medical News Today]
Some have characterized dopamine as the elixir of pleasure because so many rewarding stimuli – food, drugs, sex, exercise – trigger its release in the brain. However, more than a decade of research indicates that when drug use becomes compulsive, the related dopamine release becomes deficient in the striatum, a brain region that is involved in reward and behavioral control.
New research now published in Biological Psychiatry from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam suggests that dopamine release is increased in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and may be normalized by the therapeutic application of deep brain stimulation (DBS).
To conduct the study, the authors recruited clinically stable outpatients with OCD who had been receiving DBS therapy for greater than one year. The patients then underwent three single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) imaging scans to measure dopamine availability in the brain.
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