Identification of Candidate Neural Biomarkers of OCD Symptom Intensity in Ecologically Valid Environments

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE


Detection of neural signatures related to pathological behavioral states could enable adaptive deep brain stimulation (DBS), a potential strategy for improving efficacy of DBS for neurological and psychiatric disorders. This approach requires identifying neural biomarkers of relevant behavioral states, a task best performed in ecologically valid environments. Here, in human participants with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) implanted with recording-capable DBS devices, we synchronized chronic ventral striatum local field potentials with relevant, disease-specific behaviors. We captured over 1,000 h of local field potentials in the clinic and at home during unstructured activity, as well as during DBS and exposure therapy. The wide range of symptom severity over which the data were captured allowed us to identify candidate neural biomarkers of OCD symptom intensity. This work demonstrates the feasibility and utility of capturing chronic intracranial electrophysiology during daily symptom fluctuations to enable neural biomarker identification, a prerequisite for future development of adaptive DBS for OCD and other psychiatric disorders.

Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss the background on why adaptive deep brain stimulation for OCD may help to improve its therapeutic efficacy. 

2. Explain the challenges of conducting and analyzing ecological electrophysiological recordings with individuals suffering from severe psychiatric illness.

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