New Treatment Programs May Help OCD Sufferers Control Their Symptoms

By Staff Writer

Many individuals who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are often able to control their symptoms with medication. However, some sufferers need the kind of intensive therapy offered at treatment centers.

A new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that individuals with OCD symptoms who have been resistant to more moderate therapies may benefit from treatment that stimulates deep areas of the brain.

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam found that using electrodes to stimulate deep areas of the brain reduced OCD symptoms by an average of 43 percent. Some participants showed even greater improvement following the therapy, and the greatest improvements were made to their anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Damiaan Denys, who led the investigation, said that OCD can destroy a person’s ability to function socially as well as in their home and work lives. In patients whose condition has progressed to this stage, more conservative therapies may not be as effective as this type of aggressive treatment.

More than 2 million Americans suffer from OCD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.