While pharmacological and/or behavioral treatments are effective in managing symptoms for many patients with psychiatric diagnoses and disorders with behavioral/cognitive manifestations, a subset of individuals are treatment-refractory, unable to achieve appreciable benefit or symptom relief from traditional methods. In recent years, neuromodulation has gained momentum as an adjunctive treatment for improving outcomes in patients who are treatment-refractory. One form of neuromodulation, deep brain stimulation (DBS), has been investigated for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders and behavioral/cognitive symptoms. The following article provides a review of DBS investigations for several psychiatric and behavioral-related disorders, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance use disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, obesity, schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress disorder. PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, Ovid MEDLINE, and Web of Science were used to identify published articles, and Clinicaltrials.gov was used to identify currently ongoing or planned studies. Findings revealed the potential utility of DBS in improving outcomes for various psychiatric and behavioral/cognitive-related disorders. While promising, there are several limitations present in the available literature, and further well-designed clinical trials are necessary before conclusive decisions regarding the utility of DBS for the treatment of these psychiatric/behavioral/cognitive-related disorders can be made. Regardless, the studies included in this review demonstrate positive preliminary findings for the potential benefit of DBS for treatment of a variety of psychiatric disorders, and further research is warranted to better determine the potential utility of DBS for those who are treatment-refractory and unable to achieve symptom relief with standard care.
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