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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Device approved to ease OCD

February 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Patients suffering from obsessive, distressing thoughts have a new treatment option: a pacemaker-like device that relieves anxiety with electrical jolts to the brain.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Medtronic's Reclaim Deep Brain Stimulator device, the first implant to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Though about 2.2 million Americans have the disorder, the new device would be available only to a small group of patients who don't respond to other treatments.

Shaped like a pacemaker, the Reclaim device is implanted under the skin of the chest and then connected to four electrodes in the brain.

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