Neurosurgery for mental disorder, vagus nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation

David M.B. Christmas, Stephen Curran, Keith Matthews, Muftah S. Eljamel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Advanced treatment options are available from a few tertiary centres for those patients with the most severe and treatment-refractory forms of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. These treatments include ablative neurosurgery and electrical stimulation procedures directed against different neural targets. These include vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Ablative procedures, such as anterior cingulotomy, are the best established of these alternatives, although the newer electrical stimulation procedures confer potential advantages with respect to surgical morbidity and reversibility. Both VNS and DBS should be considered as experimental therapies, with definitive evidence of efficacy not yet available. All neurosurgical procedures used to treat psychiatric disorder should be provided by specialized multidisciplinary teams with expertise in the management of psychiatric disorder by pharmacological and psychological treatment methods. All psychiatric neurosurgical procedures should be subject to detailed long-term clinical audit to determine efficacy and adverse effect burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • depression
  • electrical stimulation
  • mood disorders
  • neurosurgery
  • OCD
  • treatment resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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