February 07, 2024

Pioneering Brain Implant Offers “Life-Changing” Treatment

Doctors from the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon have helped a woman overcome two major ailments with the help of a brain implant.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and epilepsy have both had a significant impact on Amber Pearson’s life for over three decades before she underwent responsive neuro-stimulation system (RNS) treatment in March 2019.

What was initially meant to treat her epilepsy eventually became a request to “put a wire for OCD”, said Ahmed Raslan, neurosurgeon at the OHSU School of Medicine, who reconfigured the inch-long chip to identify and disrupt the brain signals that would set off Pearson’s compulsions.

Not only did the implant reduce her seizures, but her OCD habits also now only consume 30 minutes out of her day – an incredible change from eight hours pre-RNS!

Previously, Pearson would struggle with her contamination obsession and stringent checking routine to ensure she didn’t arrive late for work.

“OCD is worse than having the seizures,” Pearson said in a statement. “I’m actually present in my daily life and that’s incredible. Before I was just constantly in my head worrying about my compulsions.”

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