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Deep brain stimulation for obsessive–compulsive disorder: a crisis of access

Deep brain stimulation is an effective treatment for obsessive–compulsive disorder but is rarely used. Action is needed by psychologists, psychiatrists and insurers so that patients with otherwise intractable cases can receive this therapy to improve their mental health.

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Fig. 1: DBS for OCD.


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P.K. reports research or educational grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS 323530_177577, FNS 2020 32003BL_197709-1 and FNS 33IC30_198772), paid to his employing institution. M.S.O. has received research grants from the US National Institutes of Health (R01 NR014852, R01NS096008, UH3NS119844 and U01NS119562; training grant R25NS108939 (Principal Investigator)).

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Authors and Affiliations



Conceptualization and writing of original draft, V.V.-V. and P.A.; editing of the manuscript, V.V.-V., P.A., P.E.M., B.N., M.H. and M.S.O.; and critical revision of the manuscript, V.V.-V., P.A., P.E.M., B.D.G., R.S., N.C.M., V.V., P.K., K.D.F., H.S.M., M.F., B.H.K., M.P., E.M. J., S.C., K.M., J.C.B., H.T., P.E.H., C.B., C.H., C.K., D.D., L.Z., P.B., M.N., A.A., S.R., V.A.C., T.E.S., D.D.D., P.D., P.S., J.G., A.M.L., S.A.S., T.C., J.K., L.M., B.N., M.H. and M.S..

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Correspondence to Veerle Visser-Vandewalle.

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Competing interests

V.V.-V. is a member of advisory boards and has received speaker’s honoraria from Medtronic, Boston Scientific and Abbott. P.K. reports research or educational grants from Roger de Spoelberch Foundation, Bertarelli Foundation, Annemarie Opprecht Foundation, Parkinson Schweiz, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Aleva Neurotherapeutics, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, GE Healthcare and Idorsia, paid to his employing institution; lecturing fees from Boston Scientific and Bial, paid to his employing institution; travel expenses to scientific meetings from Boston Scientific, Zambon and Abbvie. L.Z. has received honoraria for educational activities from Elekta, Boston Scientific and Medtronic. A.M.L. has consulted for Medtronic, Boston Scientific and Abbott. S.A.S. has consulted for Boston Scientific, Neuropace and Zimmer Biomet. M.S.O. serves as medical advisor for the Parkinson’s Foundation; has received research grants from Parkinson’s Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Parkinson Alliance, Smallwood Foundation, the Bachmann-Strauss Foundation, the Tourette Syndrome Association, and the UF Foundation; and has received royalties for publications with Demos, Manson, Amazon, Smashwords, Books4Patients, Perseus, Robert Rose, Oxford and Cambridge. All other authors declare no competing interests.

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Visser-Vandewalle, V., Andrade, P., Mosley, P.E. et al. Deep brain stimulation for obsessive–compulsive disorder: a crisis of access. Nat Med (2022).

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