Research press release


Nature Medicine

Neuroscience: Non-invasive, personalized brain stimulation may reduce obsessive–compulsive behaviours



今回R Reinhartたちは、非侵襲的な方法を用いて、強化学習課題に参加した124人のボランティアの脳活動パターンを測定した。そして、高周波の電流で眼窩前頭皮質の特定の脳ネットワークを刺激したところ、この手法によって、報酬に誘導された選択行動は効果的に調節できるが、罰に誘導された選択行動では影響が見られないことが明らかになった。また、5日間の長期刺激によって強迫行動が最長で3か月減少し、最も重い症状の患者で最も大幅な改善が見られることも示された。


Low-frequency electrical stimulation, tuned to the activity pattern of brain networks that control learning and reward-choice behaviour, may reduce compulsive behaviours in people for up to 3 months, reports a study in Nature Medicine. These findings highlight the potential of non-invasive and personalized brain circuit-based therapeutics to treat obsessive–compulsive behaviour and related disorders.

There are few effective therapeutic options for people with obsessive–compulsive disorders, despite the high prevalence of these disorders in the general population and the considerable distress they can cause the person affected. Previous studies have associated obsessive–compulsive behaviours with excessive habit learning as a function of reward during reinforcement learning.

Robert Reinhart and colleagues used a non-invasive approach to measure brain activity patterns in 124 volunteers participating in a reinforcement learning task. The authors stimulated specific brain networks in the orbitofrontal cortex with a low-frequency electrical current. They found that this approach could be used to effectively modulate reward-guided, but not punishment-guided, choice behaviour. The authors found that chronic stimulation for 5 days reduced obsessive-compulsive behaviours for up to 3 months, with the largest improvements seen in those with the most severe symptoms.

These findings suggest that this new form of personalized brain modulation may be effective in producing long-lasting benefits in people experiencing distress due to actions such as compulsive eating, gambling and shopping.

doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01173-w


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