In October 2022, the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosurgery at BCM jointly hosted a hybrid workshop entitled, “Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for OCD: Lessons for Integrating Clinical Practice of Psychiatrists, Neurosurgeons, and Psychologists.” One of the take home messages of that meeting was to underscore the importance of teamwork to manage the treatment of patients with severe OCD. It takes an interdisciplinary team working cohesively across academic departments and institutions to conduct this research and improve patient outcomes. Psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, psychologists, engineers, neuroscientists, neurologists, and neuroethicists are all critical. The workshop was made possible by a generous gift from a grateful patient.
We had 186 attendees – 38 onsite, 148 virtual – including several of our learners. 34 attendees were international, representing Mexico, Turkey, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, Italy, Portugal, Jordan, Brazil, Morocco, India, and Puerto Rico.
Dr. Sameer Sheth, Dr. Eric Storch, and I – a neurosurgeon, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist – have been working closely for the last five years to evaluate and manage patients with severe, treatment resistant OCD – 20 of whom went on to have DBS at BCM. Along with guest speakers from Harvard, Brown, University of Colorado, Stanford, and Mount Sinai, we shared our collective experience at the workshop regarding DBS for OCD and conveyed best practices to groups starting programs.
Among the positive feedback we received from attendees was the value of having a patient talk about her experience undergoing DBS for treatment resistant OCD. She spoke about her illness and how both DBS and Exposure & Response Therapy (ERP), which was added to her DBS, had helped her. For me, it was touching to witness how far she had come. It also reminded me that helping patients is the driving force behind doing research.
Wayne K. Goodman, M.D.
D.C. and Irene Ellwood Professor and Chair
Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences