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Re: Cingulotory Lasting Relief For OCD or DBS Christ_empowered

Posted by psychobot5000 on May 4, 2012, at 16:19:56

In reply to Re: Cingulotory Lasting Relief For OCD or DBS, posted by Christ_empowered on April 28, 2012, at 22:51:03

> Words of wisdom. Damaged brains make capitalism run much more smoothly.

It's not about that. Severe OCD is a horrible, life-encompassing, life-destroying disease. For those that don't respond to other treatments, this seems to provide significant relief.

But ablative lesioning of the brain, you might say, is a terribly crude way of treating this. I would respond: this makes it in no way different from any other available treatment. We are still largely in a dark age of psychiatry, and this looks like a legitimate last-resort treatment.

Lobotomies, I don't need to say, were a horrible, almost unbelievable medical abuse--one, I would note, that continued at Mass General into the 1980s... But this is a very different treatment; rather than cutting off connections to the frontal lobes, seat of higher brain function and personality, you're doing permanent heat-damage to a localized area much lower in the brain, which area appears to have a role in modulating certain dysfunctional thought patterns, which dysmodulation is presumably destroying the relevant patients' lives.

It's easy to be cynical about these things, but the truth is that some patients desperately need any sort of relief, probably even at the cost of localized brain damage, and I admire those practitioners willing to try to help these people, despite the stigma and the uncertainties surrounding it.
Psychbot
PS - Hopefully, within a decade or two some form of therapeutic neuromodulation (i.e. DBS, TMS) will be refined to the point that cingulotomies are no longer needed, even for the worst cases. Neurostimulation is a much more exciting and growing area of medicine than ablative lesioning of the lower brain.


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