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Deep Brain Stimulation as a Treatment for Addictions: Could Impulsivity be the Therapeutic Target?

Daniele Fabio Zullino

Recently there has been growing interest in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of substance use disorders. Several lines of observation currently advocate for research on this domain: Observed effects on consumption in patients treated primarily for movement disorders, preclinical data using DBS to modulate consumption behaviour, and experiences with DBS in patients treated primarily for addiction.

A further line of research, which has until now rather been neglected, is to explore its effect on specific traits of addictive behaviour, such as impulsivity. If we consider impulsivity to be an endophenotype underlying many manifestations of addiction, it would be important to know the efficacy of the different DBS-targets on impulsivity and its correlation with clinical efficacy

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