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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-32

Trigeminal nerve stimulation for the treatment of major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: a case study

Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Neuromodulation, Santa Casa School of Medical Sciences, São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Alisson Paulino Trevizol
Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Neuromodulation, Santa Casa School of Medical Sciences, São Paulo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2542-3932.198962

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Neuromodulation techniques have been proposed as add-on strategies for modulating brain areas involved in obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. Trigeminal nerve stimulation is a novel neuromodulation technique, which, to date, has not yet been explored for obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment. In this report, we describe a 52-year-old female patient suffering from major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder for 18 and 32 years, respectively and successfully undergoing a trigeminal nerve stimulation intervention protocol (10 consecutive daily trigeminal nerve stimulation sessions), with amelioration of symptoms. Cognitive function was not obviously altered as assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms assessed using the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale substantially improved after the 10-day treatment course and remained stable after 1-month follow-up (30 days after final trigeminal nerve stimulation). The patient reported significant global clinical gains and mild diurnal sleepiness without severe adverse effects. Trigeminal nerve stimulation has been studied for the treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders that share common functional alterations at the frontal cortex and subcortical areas, usually altered in obsessive-compulsive disorder. We present the first case report on trigeminal nerve stimulation for co-morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depressive disorder. These encouraging results should be seen as hypothesis-driving for further controlled randomized trials exploring the impact of trigeminal nerve stimulation in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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