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Questions and Answers – DBS Therapy

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is Reclaim Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for OCD?

Reclaim® DBS Therapy uses a surgically placed medical device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to deliver electrical pulses to precisely targeted areas of the brain. Electrical stimulation may help to reduce some of the symptoms of OCD.

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What are the implanted components of the Reclaim™ DBS system?

The Reclaim DBS system consists of the following implanted components:

  • Two leads implanted in the brain.
  • Two extensions threaded under the skin from the head, down the neck, and into the upper chest.
  • One or two neurostimulators implanted under the skin below the collarbone and connected to the extensions.

Sometimes called a “brain pacemaker,” the neurostimulator produces the electrical pulses needed for stimulation. These electrical pulses are delivered through the extension and lead to the targeted areas in the brain. The pulses can be adjusted wirelessly to check or change the neurostimulator settings.

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How is the stimulation adjusted?

To adjust stimulation, your clinician will use a programmer that communicates wirelessly with the neurostimulator to non-invasively adjust stimulation to find the level that is right for you.

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What benefits does Reclaim DBS offer?

Reclaim DBS is available for adults with chronic, severe, treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as an alternative to anterior capsulotomy. Reclaim DBS Therapy for OCD has received a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) from the FDA; this means that the effectiveness of this therapy for OCD has not been established.

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What are the potential risks of Reclaim DBS?

Risks of Reclaim DBS can include risks of surgery, stimulation side effects, or device complications.

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What is the history of deep brain stimulation (DBS)?

Neurologists and neurosurgeons have used electrical stimulation since the 1960s as a way to locate and distinguish specific sites in the brain. Medtronic developed brain stimulation technology in the 1980s in conjunction with leading international physician researchers.

Medtronic DBS Therapy is currently approved to manage symptoms of advanced Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Approved for dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder as a humanitarian device.) Since 1997, more than 100,000 people worldwide have received Medtronic DBS Therapy.1

Does Reclaim DBS cure OCD?

There is no cure for OCD at this time. Reclaim DBS Therapy may treat some of the symptoms of OCD, but does not cure the underlying condition. If stimulation is discontinued, symptoms will likely return.

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Medtronic, Inc. data on file.

Humanitarian Device: The effectiveness of this device for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder has not been demonstrated.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.