Ahead of Print: Deep Brain Stimulation for OCD Affects Language

Background and importance: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for patients with refractory neuropsychiatric disorders. Along with symptom improvement, DBS may have concurrent behavioral effects that help to unravel the role of specific brain circuitries in complex human behavior.

Clinical presentation: This paper reports on two patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who received DBS targeted at the nucleus accumbens (NAc) that resulted in a temporary change of accent and use of vocabulary.

Conclusion: Changes in accent and speaking manners are most likely related to direct DBS stimulation effects of the electrode targeted at the NAc. The shift in accent, resembling Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) after injuries in brain language centers, has never before been reported in the course of DBS. Induction of aggressive vocabulary may be related to transient hypomanic behavior following DBS.

From: Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Affects Language: A Case Report by Polak et al.

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