Scientific and Ethical Issues for the Surgical Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders

Friday, February 18, 2011: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
146A (Washington Convention Center )
Over the past decade, there has been a remarkable resurgence of neurosurgical treatments for psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, and Tourette’s, using both lesioning and deep brain stimulation (DBS). The reasons for this include the following: the unmet need for more effective treatments; the success with surgical treatments for movement disorders; the better understanding of the underlying disturbances of brain circuitry and mechanisms in these disorders and the rational for surgical approaches; and pressure from desperate patients and families, dedicated psychiatrists, and neurosurgeons and device manufacturers. The history of psychosurgery is a clear reminder of the substantial risks for patients and for this emerging field if this procedure is not done carefully. With notable exceptions, the problems and issues are generally more complex for psychiatric than for movement disorders, because of the pervasive and chronic preoperative disturbances of psychosocial development, mood, behavior, and the resulting greater difficulties with postoperative reintegration, marital problems, and potential suicide. The major goals of the symposium are to make clear the enormous opportunity to provide relief for some of the most devastating disorders affecting patients, while being mindful of the earlier shortcomings of psychosurgery, the lessons from treating movement disorders, and the need for careful and ethical conduct of research and communication with the media.
Mahlon DeLong, Emory University School of Medicine
Mahlon DeLong, Emory University School of Medicine
Mahlon DeLong, Emory University School of Medicine
DBS for Psychiatric Disorders: Lessons from Movement Disorders
Benjamin Greenberg, Brown University Medical School
Long-Term DBS for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Promise, Progress, and Pitfalls
Helen Mayberg, Emory University School of Medicine
DBS for Depression: Current Status, Future Goals
Joseph Fins, New York Presbyterian Hospital–Weill Cornell Center
DBS and the Ethical Mandate To Foster Trust and Sustain Scientific Advances
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