Stanford Medicine Brain Stimulation Lab

Stanford Medicine is currently recruiting patients with OCD for a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) clinical trial. DBS has provisional FDA approval for treating OCD under the Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) and has shown significant benefit for many patients, but 40-50% of patients who have gotten DBS for OCD do not respond to the treatment. The purpose of their trial is to use multiple temporary implantable electrodes to identify the optimal stimulation locations in the brain for each patient that most effectively relieve their OCD symptoms, and then implant a DBS device with permanent electrodes at the best stimulation sites. The hope is to use this research to personalize OCD DBS treatment more effectively to improve patient outcomes.

Because this is an invasive clinical trial, they are enrolling patients with markers of severe OCD with a high degree of treatment resistance. Participants will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Between the ages of 22 and 75.
  • Have had OCD for more than 5 years.
  • OCD is their primary psychiatric diagnosis.
  • No substance use disorder in the last 2 years.
  • No lifetime history of bipolar disorder or a psychotic disorder.
  • Severe OCD symptoms.
  • Failure to respond to multiple trials of medications, including two SSRI trials at maximum FDA approved dose, a trial of clomipramine, and at least 1 trial of augmentation with an antipsychotic medication.
  • Failure to respond to Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
  • No history of severe head trauma, implanted devices, or metal in the head.
  • Does not plan to become pregnant in the next 3 years.

If you or someone you know would be a good candidate for this study, please reach out to Stanford Medicine at

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