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Tractography-Based Modeling Explains Treatment Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder



      Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established and expanding therapy for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. Previous work has suggested that a white matter circuit providing hyperdirect input from the dorsal cingulate and ventrolateral prefrontal regions to the subthalamic nucleus could be an effective neuromodulatory target.


      We tested this concept by attempting to retrospectively explain through predictive modeling the ranks of clinical improvement as measured by the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) in 10 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder who underwent DBS to the ventral anterior limb of internal capsule with subsequent programming uninformed by the putative target tract.


      Rank predictions were carried out using the tract model by a team that was completely uninvolved in DBS planning and programming. Predicted Y-BOCS improvement ranks significantly correlated with actual Y-BOCS improvement ranks at the 6-month follow-up (r = 0.75, p = .013). Predicted score improvements correlated with actual Y-BOCS score improvements (r = 0.72, p = .018).


      Here, we provide data in a first-of-its-kind report suggesting that normative tractography-based modeling can blindly predict treatment response in DBS for obsessive-compulsive disorder.


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