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Remission of alcohol dependency following deep brain stimulation of the nucleus accumbens: valuable therapeutic implications?
  1. Jens Kuhn1,
  2. Doris Lenartz2,
  3. Wolfgang Huff1,
  4. SunHee Lee1,
  5. Athanasios Koulousakis2,
  6. Joachim Klosterkoetter1,
  7. Volker Sturm2
  1. 1
    Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  2. 2
    Department of Stereotaxy and Functional Neurosurgery, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  1. Dr Jens Kuhn, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Cologne, Kerpener Strasse 62, 50924 Cologne, Germany; Jens.Kuhn{at}uk-koeln.de

Abstract

Chronic consumption of alcohol represents one of the greatest health and socioeconomic problems worldwide. We report on a 54-year-old patient with a severe anxiety disorder and secondary depressive disorder in whom bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens was carried out. Despite the absence of desired improvement in his primary disorder, we observed a remarkable although not primarily intended alleviation of the patient’s comorbid alcohol dependency. Our case report demonstrates the extremely effective treatment of alcohol dependency by means of DBS of the nucleus accumbens and may reveal new prospects in overcoming therapy resistance in dependencies in general.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    AUDIT
    Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test
    DBS
    deep brain stimulation
    DSM
    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

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