Use of differential stimulation of the nucleus accumbens and anterior limb of the internal capsule to improve outcomes of obsessive-compulsive disorder

J Neurosurg 139:1376–1385, 2023

Personalized stimulation is key to optimizing the outcomes of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, the contacts in a single conventional electrode cannot be programmed independently, which may affect the therapeutic efficacy of DBS for OCD. Therefore, a novel designed electrode and implantable pulse generator (IPG) that could achieve differential stimulation parameters for different contacts was implanted into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) of a cohort of patients with OCD.

METHODS Thirteen consecutive patients underwent bilateral DBS of the NAc-ALIC between January 2016 and May 2021. Differential stimulation of the NAc-ALIC was applied at initial activation. Primary effectiveness was assessed on the basis of change in scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) from baseline to 6-month follow-up. Full-response was defined as a 35% decrease in Y-BOCS score. Secondary effectiveness measures were the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). The local field potential of bilateral NAcALIC was recorded in 4 patients who were reimplanted with a sensing IPG after battery depletion of the previous IPG.

RESULTS The Y-BOCS, HAMA, and HAMD scores decreased remarkably during the first 6 months of DBS. Ten of 13 patients were categorized as responders (76.9%). Differential stimulation of the NAc-ALIC was favorable to optimization of the stimulation parameters by increasing the parameter configurations. Power spectral density analysis revealed pronounced delta-alpha frequency activity in the NAc-ALIC. Phase-amplitude coupling of the NAc-ALIC showed that strong coupling is present between the phase of delta-theta and broadband gamma amplitude.

CONCLUSIONS These preliminary findings indicate that differential stimulation of the NAc-ALIC can improve the efficacy of DBS for OCD.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Laser Thermal Ventral Capsulotomy for Intractable Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Neurosurgery 88:1128–1135, 2021

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling condition characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. A subset of individuals have severe, treatment-resistant illness and are nonresponsive to medication or behavioral therapies. Without response to conventional therapeutic options, surgical intervention becomes an appropriate consideration.

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical outcomes and the safety profile of bilateral ventral anterior capsulotomy for OCD using magnetic resonance (MR)-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) in 10 patients followed for 6 to 24 mo.

METHODS: A total of 10 patients underwent LITT for severe OCD; 1 patient withdrew prior to follow-up. LITT is a minimally invasive ablative technique performed with precise targeting and use of thermography under MR guidance. Lesions of the ventral anterior limb of the internal capsule by other techniques have been shown to be efficacious in prior studies.

RESULTS: A total of 7 of the 9 patients were considered full responders (77.8%; Yale- Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale change ≥35%). Adverse effects included transient apathy/amotivation postsurgery (2 patients). One patient had a small tract hemorrhage where the laser fiber traversed the cerebral cortex as well as persistent insomnia postsurgery. One individual died after a drug overdose 7 mo postsurgery, which was judged unrelated to the surgery.

CONCLUSION: LITT ventral capsulotomy was generally well tolerated, with promising evidence of effectiveness in the largest such series to date. Results were comparable to those after gamma knife ventral capsulotomy, as well as ventral anterior limb deep brain stimulation.

 

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for Deep Brain Stimulations for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Update of the 2014 Guidelines

 Neurosurgery 88:710–712, 2021

In 2020, the Guidelines Task Force conducted another systematic review of the relevant literature on deep brain stimulation (DBS) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to update the original 2014 guidelines to ensure timeliness and accuracy for clinical practice.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review of the literature and update the evidencebased guidelines on DBS for OCD.

METHODS: The Guidelines Task Force conducted another systematic review of the relevant literature, using the same search terms and strategies as used to search PubMed and Embase for relevant literature. The updated search included studies published between 1966 and December 2019. The same inclusion/exclusion criteria as the original guideline were also applied. Abstracts were reviewed and relevant full-text articles were retrieved and graded. Of 864 articles, 10 were retrieved for full-text review and analysis. Recommendations were updated according to new evidence yielded by this update.

RESULTS: Seven studies were included in the original guideline, reporting the use of bilateral DBS as more effective in improving OCD symptoms than sham treatment. An additional 10 studies were included in this update: 1 class II and 9 class III.

CONCLUSION: Based on the data published in the literature, the following recommendations can be made: (1) It is recommended that clinicians utilize bilateral subthalamic nucleus DBS over best medical management for the treatment of patients with medically refractory OCD (level I). (2) Cliniciansmay use bilateral nucleus accumbens or bed nucleus of stria terminalis DBS for the treatment of patientswithmedically refractory OCD (level II). There is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation for the identification of themost effective target. The full guidelines can be accessed at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/browse-guidelinesdetail/ deep-brain-stimulation-obsessive-compulsive-disord.

Tractography-Guided Deep Brain Stimulation of the Anteromedial Globus Pallidus Internus for Refractory Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Neurosurgery 86:E558–E563, 2020

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling psychiatric disorder, mainly treated with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Surgical intervention may be appropriate for patients with treatment-refractory OCD. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an alternative for previously common ablative surgical procedures. Tractography has been proposed as a method for individualizing DBS treatment and may have the potential to improve efficacy.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION: We present a patient with treatment-refractory OCD previously treated with bilateral leucotomies, who underwent DBS surgery with targeting informed by tractography. Preoperative tractography to identify suitable DBS targets was undertaken. Structural images were also utilized for standard stereotactic surgical planning. The anteromedial globus pallidus internus (amGPi) was chosen as the target bilaterally after consideration of white matter projections to frontal cortical regions and neurosurgical approach. Bilateral amGPi DBS surgery was undertaken without adverse events. At 16-mo follow-up, there was a 48.5% reduction in OCD symptom severity as measured by the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale.

CONCLUSION: The amGPi can be a successful DBS target for OCD. This is the first known case to report on DBS surgery postleucotomies for OCD and highlights the utility of tractography for surgical planning in OCD.

 

Machine learning—aided personalized DTI tractographic planning for deep brain stimulation of the superolateral medial forebrain bundle using HAMLET

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:1559–1569

Growing interest exists for superolateral medial forebrain bundle (slMFB) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in psychiatric disorders. The surgical approach warrants tractographic rendition. Commercial stereotactic planning systems use deterministic tractography which suffers from inherent limitations, is dependent on manual interaction (ROI definition), and has to be regarded as subjective. We aimed to develop an objective but patient-specific tracking of the slMFB which at the same time allows the use of a commercial surgical planning system in the context of deep brain stimulation.

Methods The HAMLET (Hierarchical Harmonic Filters for Learning Tracts from Diffusion MRI) machine learning approach was introduced into the standardized workflow of slMFB DBS tractographic planning on the basis of patientspecific dMRI. Rendition of the slMFB with HAMLET serves as an objective comparison for the refinement of the deterministic tracking procedure. Our application focuses on the tractographic planning of DBS (N = 8) for major depression and OCD.

Results Previous results have shown that only fibers belonging to the ventral tegmental area to prefrontal/orbitofrontal axis should be targeted. With the proposed technique, the deterministic tracking approach, that serves as the surgical planning data, can be refined, over-sprouting fibers are eliminated, bundle thickness is reduced in the target region, and thereby probably a more accurate targeting is facilitated. The HAMLET-driven method is meant to achieve a more objective surgical fiber display of the slMFB with deterministic tractography.

Conclusions The approach allows overlying the results of patient-specific planning from two different approaches (manual deterministic and machine learningHAMLET). HAMLET shows the slMFB as a volume and thus serves as an objective tracking corridor. It helps to refine results from deterministic tracking in the surgical workspace without interfering with any part of the standard software solution. We have now included this workflow in our daily clinical experimental work on slMFB DBS for psychiatric indications.

Results of Gamma Knife anterior capsulotomy for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder

J Neurosurg 131:376–383, 2019

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe psychiatric condition. The authors present their experience with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) in the treatment of patients with OCD resistant to any medical therapy.

METHODS Patients with severe OCD resistant to all pharmacological and psychiatric treatments who were treated with anterior GKRS capsulotomy were retrospectively reviewed. These patients were submitted to a physical, neurological, and neuropsychological examination together with structural and functional MRI before and after GKRS treatment. Strict study inclusion criteria were applied. Radiosurgical capsulotomy was performed using two 4-mm isocenters targeted at the midputaminal point of the anterior limb of the capsule. A maximal dose of 120 Gy was prescribed for each side. Clini- cal global changes were assessed using the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale, Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, EQ-5D, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). OCD symptoms were determined by the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS).

RESULTS Ten patients with medically refractory OCD (5 women and 5 men) treated between 2006 and 2015 were included in this study. Median age at diagnosis was 22 years, median duration of illness at the time of radiosurgery was 14.5 years, and median age at treatment was 38.8 years. Before GKRS, the median Y-BOCS score was 34.5 with a me- dian obsession score of 18 and compulsion score of 17. Seven (70%) of 10 patients achieved a full response at their last follow-up, 2 patients were nonresponders, and 1 patient was a partial responder. Evaluation of the Y-BOCS, BDI, STAI- Trait, STAI-State, GAF, and EQ-5D showed statistically significant improvement at the last follow-up after GKRS. Neurological examinations were normal in all patients at each visit. At last follow-up, none of the patients had experienced any significant adverse neuropsychological effects or personality changes.

CONCLUSIONS GKRS anterior capsulotomy is effective and well tolerated with a maximal dose of 120 Gy. It reduces both obsessions and compulsions, improves quality of life, and diminishes depression and anxiety.

Deep brain stimulation versus anterior capsulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a review of the literature

DBS

J Neurosurg 122:1028–1037, 2015

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Traditionally, anterior capsulotomy (AC) was an established procedure for treatment of patients with refractory OCD. Over recent decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained popularity.

In this paper the authors review the published literature and compare the outcome of AC and DBS targeting of the area of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Patients in published cases were grouped according to whether they received AC or DBS and according to their preoperative scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), and then separated according to outcome measures: remission (YBOCS score < 8); response (≥ 35% improvement in YBOCS score); nonresponse (< 35% improvement in YBOCS score); and unfavorable (i.e., worsening of the baseline YBOCS score).

Twenty studies were identified reporting on 170 patients; 62 patients underwent DBS of the VC/VS or the NAcc (mean age 38 years, follow-up 19 months, baseline YBOCS score of 33), and 108 patients underwent AC (mean age 36 years, follow-up 61 months, baseline YBOCS score of 30). In patients treated with DBS there was a 40% decrease in YBOCS score, compared with a 51% decrease for those who underwent AC (p = 0.004). Patients who underwent AC were 9% more likely to go into remission than patients treated with DBS (p = 0.02). No difference in complication rates was noted.

Anterior capsulotomy is an efficient procedure for refractory OCD. Deep brain stimulation in the VC/VS and NAcc area is an emerging and promising therapy. The current popularity of DBS over ablative surgery for OCD is not due to nonefficacy of AC, but possibly because DBS is perceived as more acceptable by clinicians and patients.

Deep brain stimulation versus anterior capsulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a review of the literature

brain-ocd-treatment

J Neurosurg 122:1028–1037, 2015

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Traditionally, anterior capsulotomy (AC) was an established procedure for treatment of patients with refractory OCD. Over recent decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained popularity.

In this paper the authors review the published literature and compare the outcome of AC and DBS targeting of the area of the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc).

Patients in published cases were grouped according to whether they received AC or DBS and according to their preoperative scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), and then separated according to outcome measures: remission (YBOCS score < 8); response (≥ 35% improvement in YBOCS score); nonresponse (< 35% improvement in YBOCS score); and unfavorable (i.e., worsening of the baseline YBOCS score).

Twenty studies were identified reporting on 170 patients; 62 patients underwent DBS of the VC/VS or the NAcc (mean age 38 years, follow-up 19 months, baseline YBOCS score of 33), and 108 patients underwent AC (mean age 36 years, follow-up 61 months, baseline YBOCS score of 30). In patients treated with DBS there was a 40% decrease in YBOCS score, compared with a 51% decrease for those who underwent AC (p = 0.004). Patients who underwent AC were 9% more likely to go into remission than patients treated with DBS (p = 0.02). No difference in complication rates was noted.

Anterior capsulotomy is an efficient procedure for refractory OCD. Deep brain stimulation in the VC/VS and NAcc area is an emerging and promising therapy. The current popularity of DBS over ablative surgery for OCD is not due to nonefficacy of AC, but possibly because DBS is perceived as more acceptable by clinicians and patients.

Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

DBS

Neurosurgery 75:327–333, 2014

It is estimated that 40% to 60% of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) continue to experience symptoms despite adequate medical management. For this population of treatment-refractory patients, promising results have been reported with the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS).

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review of the literature and develop evidencebased guidelines on DBS for OCD.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was undertaken using the PubMed database for articles published between 1966 and October 2012 combining the following words: “deep brain stimulation and obsessive-compulsive disorder” or “electrical stimulation and obsessivecompulsive disorder.” Of 353 articles, 7 were retrieved for full-text review and analysis. The quality of the articles was assigned to each study and the strength of recommendation graded according to the guidelines development methodology of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Guidelines Committee.

RESULTS: Of the 7 studies, 1 class I and 2 class II double-blind, randomized, controlled trials reported that bilateral DBS is more effective in improving OCD symptoms than sham treatment.

CONCLUSION: Based on the data published in the literature, the following recommendations can be made: (1) There is Level I evidence, based on a single class I study, for the use of bilateral subthalamic nucleus DBS for the treatment of medically refractory OCD. (2) There is Level II evidence, based on a single class II study, for the use of bilateral nucleus accumbens DBS for the treatment of medically refractory OCD. (3) There is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation for the use of unilateral DBS for the treatment of medically refractory OCD.

Bilateral stereotactic anterior capsulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: long-term follow-up

DBS-OCD

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2013;84:1208–1213

Psychosurgery, such as anterior capsulotomy, is a therapeutic option for treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In this paper, we present a prospective, long-term follow-up study aimed at evaluating both the efficacy and the safety of anterior capsulotomy for the treatment of severe, refractory OCD.

Methods Twenty-four patients were surgically treated in our centre between 1997 and 2009, 19 of whom were included in this study. Patients were assessed at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months and last follow-up (mean of 7 years) was carried out by phone. OCD symptom severity was evaluated using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS). A patient with an improvement rate of over 35% in the Y-BOCS score was considered a responder, while a patient with a 25% improvement was considered a partial responder.

Results With a mean improvement of 31% in the Y-BOCS score at long-term follow-up, 36.8% of the patients responded fully to the procedure and 10.5% were considered partial responders, for an overall response rate of 47.3% of patients. At the end of the study, 3/19 patients had recovered (Y-BOCS score <8) and 3/19 were in remission (Y-BOCS score <16). No cases of mortality were reported and the overall adverse event rate was 57.9%. Only 2 patients had permanent surgical complications.

Conclusions Anterior capsulotomy is an effective and safe technique for the treatment of severe refractory OCD in patients who have no other alternative to improve their symptoms.

Limbic system surgery for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder

Limbic system surgery for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder

J Neurosurg 118:491–497, 2013

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and disabling psychiatric illness, and in a significant proportion of patients with OCD the disease is refractory to conventional pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. For more than half a century, patients with severe, treatment-resistant OCD have been treated with stereotactic limbic system lesions, including dorsal anterior cingulotomy. The authors present their results describing the efficacy and durability of limbic system surgery for OCD, characterizing a large cohort of patients treated at a single institution with a mean follow-up of more than 5 years.

Methods. The authors identified 64 consecutive patients undergoing cingulotomy for refractory OCD at the Massachusetts General Hospital between 1989 and 2009. Changes in OCD and major depressive disorder symptom severity were assessed at both the initial and most recent postoperative follow-up by using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory, respectively. Full and partial OCD symptom responses were defined as Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score reductions of ≥ 35% and 25%–34%, respectively.

Results. Regarding OCD symptom improvement, at the first postoperative follow-up (mean 10.7 months), 35% of patients demonstrated a full response and 7% were partial responders. Thirty patients had a subsequent procedure (repeat cingulotomy or subcaudate tractotomy). By the most recent follow-up (mean 63.8 months), rates climbed to 47% and 22% for full and partial responses, respectively. Of the 24 patients with at least a partial response at initial follow-up, 20 (83%) retained at least a partial response at final follow-up. Comorbid major depressive disorder severity decreased by 17% at the most recent follow-up.

Conclusions. Limbic system surgery based on initial cingulotomy offers a durable and effective treatment option for appropriately selected patients with severe OCD who have not responded to conventional pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy.

Limbic system surgery for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder

Limbic system surgery for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder- a prospective long-term follow-up of 64 patients

DOI: 10.3171/2012.11.JNS12389

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and disabling psychiatric illness, and in a significant proportion of patients with OCD the disease is refractory to conventional pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. For more than half a century, patients with severe, treatment-resistant OCD have been treated with stereotactic limbic system lesions, including dorsal anterior cingulotomy.

The authors present their results describing the efficacy and durability of limbic system surgery for OCD, characterizing a large cohort of patients treated at a single institution with a mean follow-up of more than 5 years.

Methods. The authors identified 64 consecutive patients undergoing cingulotomy for refractory OCD at the Massachusetts General Hospital between 1989 and 2009. Changes in OCD and major depressive disorder symptom severity were assessed at both the initial and most recent postoperative follow-up by using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory, respectively. Full and partial OCD symptom responses were defined as Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score reductions of ≥ 35% and 25%–34%, respectively.

Results. Regarding OCD symptom improvement, at the first postoperative follow-up (mean 10.7 months), 35% of patients demonstrated a full response and 7% were partial responders. Thirty patients had a subsequent procedure (repeat cingulotomy or subcaudate tractotomy). By the most recent follow-up (mean 63.8 months), rates climbed to 47% and 22% for full and partial responses, respectively. Of the 24 patients with at least a partial response at initial follow-up, 20 (83%) retained at least a partial response at final follow-up. Comorbid major depressive disorder severity decreased by 17% at the most recent follow-up.

Conclusions. Limbic system surgery based on initial cingulotomy offers a durable and effective treatment option for appropriately selected patients with severe OCD who have not responded to conventional pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy.

Results Following Gamma Knife Radiosurgical Anterior Capsulotomies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Neurosurgery 68:28–33, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181fc5c8b

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), in its severe form, can cause tremendous disability for affected patients.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the results following bilateral radiosurgical anterior capsulotomy for severe medically refractory OCD.

METHODS: We performed gamma knife anterior capsulotomy (GKAC) on 3 patients with extreme, medically intractable OCD. According to our protocol, all patients were evaluated by at least 2 psychiatrists who recommended surgery. The patient had to request the procedure, and had to have severe OCD according to the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS). Patient ages were 37, 55, and 40 years, and pre-radiosurgery YBOCS scores were 34/40, 39/40, and 39/40. Bilateral lesions were created with 2 4-mm isocenters to create an oval volume in the ventral internal capsule at the putaminal midpoint. A maximum dose of 140 or 150 Gy was used.

RESULTS: There was no morbidity after the procedure, and all patients returned immediately to baseline function. All patients noted significant functional improvements, and reduction in OCD behavior. Follow-up was at 55, 42, and 28 months. The first patient reduced her YBOCS score from 34 to 24. One patient with compulsive skin picking and an open wound had later healing of the chronic wound and a reduction in the YBOCS score from 39 to 8. At 28 months, the third patient is living and working independently, and her YBOCS score is 18.

CONCLUSION: Within a strict protocol, gamma knife radiosurgery provided improvement of OCD behavior with no adverse effects. This technique should be evaluated further in patients with severe and disabling behavioral disorders.