Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterised by obsessions and compulsions. The obsessions are typically about images, urges or doubts. On the other hand, the compulsions are about activities you engage in to deal with your anxiety. The condition is basically about an inexplicable fear that when you do not do things a particular way, something bad will happen. There are mild cases of OCD which are manageable with therapy and drugs; however, when the condition makes living a normal and healthy life impossible, it is time to think about surgery. Here is how a neurosurgeon can help resolve severe OCD.
Brain parts that cause OCD
The three areas of the brain that are believed to be responsible for OCD are the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the head of the caudate nucleus and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). OCD is said to result from a miscommunication between neurotransmitters in these parts of the brain, resulting in an impairment in the removal of serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone whose secretion gives you the joy of accomplishing something. When serotonin is not secreted as it should, the person keeps repeating their actions, trying to achieve that completion feeling.
Deep brain stimulation
Previously, the only surgical procedure that was known to be effective in dealing with mental health disorders was anterior capsulotomy, which involved removing entire regions of the brain and was irreversible. However, neurosurgeons have come up with a newer and more effective treatment for OCD: deep brain stimulation. The procedure is minimally invasive and it causes little to no scarring. The best part is that it is completely reversible. The surgery has been around for six years now and has been improved upon over the years.
How it works
The aim of the stimulation is to restore the transmission of impulses from the frontal parts of the brain to the deep brain tissues. This is a type of conditioning that results in the brain regaining its ability to note that an action has been completed. Many cases of patients whose OCD symptoms have been completely alleviated have been documented since the procedure was approved in 2009.
It is crucial to note that the success of the surgery depends on the patient and varies from one person to the next. The best approach is to talk to a psychiatrist. Ask if they think your case is severe enough to warrant surgery. You will also benefit from a competent neurosurgeon as they will ensure the surgery is effective.