Thursday, November 13, 2008 Pacemaker for brain may ease mental illness
Obsessive-compulsive symptoms improved, but some had major side effects
The Associated Press

NEW YORK - The same kind of deep brain stimulation used to treat some patients for Parkinson’s disease also helped a few people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, French scientists reported.

Their study involved only 16 patients, but in four of them, symptoms nearly disappeared. However, many patients had serious side effects, including one case of bleeding in the brain.

The treatment involved an experimental brain pacemaker, and it reduced repetitive thoughts and behaviors in some of the patients — just as it blocks tremors for some Parkinson’s sufferers.


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