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Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment of Medically Refractory Cocaine Addiction

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Addictive disorders are prevalent ailments that incur very high personal and social costs. In particular, cocaine addiction results in significant and permanent systemic changes to a patient, in addition to reducing personal and social productivity. While current therapies for cocaine addiction include psychosocial community reinforcement approaches, "vouchers" for abstinence, individual counseling, and pharmacologic treatment, there is a need for new tools for patients who relapse despite these conventional methods.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) represents a reversible, flexible, and targeted tool for the adjustment of neural pathway activity that has been demonstrated to be safe and effective for neurologic ailments such as Parkinson’s disease, and is under study for use in epilepsy, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. We are looking to demonstrate the safety of DBS for treating cocaine addiction and preventing relapse.

Contact Dr. Michael Kaplitt: 212-746-4966