Questions and Answers – DBS Therapy

What is Reclaim Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for OCD?

Reclaim® DBS Therapy uses a surgically implanted medical device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to deliver electrical pulses to precisely targeted areas of the brain. Electrical stimulation may help to reduce some of the symptoms of OCD.

What are the implanted components of the Reclaim DBS System?

The Reclaim DBS System consists of the following implanted components:

  • Two leads – Leads are thin, insulated wires with four electrodes at their tips. The leads are implanted in the brain.
  • Two extensions – Extensions connect to the leads. The extensions are threaded underneath the skin at the head, then run down the neck and into the upper chest.
  • Neurostimulator – The neurostimulator connects to the extension. This small, sealed device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, contains a battery and electronics. The neurostimulator is implanted beneath the skin in the chest below the collarbone or in the abdominal area. One or two neurostimulators may be used.

    Kinetra Neurostimulator

    Sometimes called a “brain pacemaker,” the neurostimulator produces the electrical pulses needed for stimulation. These electrical pulses are delivered through the extension and lead to the targeted areas in the brain. The pulses can be adjusted wirelessly to check or change the neurostimulator settings.


How is the stimulation adjusted?

To adjust stimulation, your clinician will use a programmer that communicates wirelessly with the neurostimulator to non-invasively adjust stimulation to find the level that is right for you.

What benefits does Reclaim DBS offer?

Reclaim DBS is available for adults with chronic, severe, treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as an alternative to anterior capsulotomy since it’s precise,  reversible and adjustable.

What are the potential risks of Reclaim DBS?

Risks of Reclaim DBS can include risks of surgery, stimulation side effects, or device complications.

What is the history of deep brain stimulation (DBS)?

Neurologists and neurosurgeons have used electrical stimulation since the 1960s as a way to locate and distinguish specific sites in the brain. Medtronic developed brain stimulation technology in the 1980s in conjunction with leading international physician researchers. In 1987, professors Alim-Louis Benabid and Pierre Pollak of the University of Grenoble in France published the results of the first application of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of movement disorders; Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor and Dystonia.

Since that first implant, more than 60,000 patients worldwide have received Medtronic DBS Therapy for Movement Disorders, of which 20,000 have been in W. Europe. More than 20 years of collaboration with the medical community, have enabled Medtronic Neuromodulation to push the frontiers of medicine and today Medtronic is leading the way with DBS in finding therapy solutions for patients with other conditions such as psychiatric disorders.

Does Reclaim DBS cure OCD?

There is no cure for OCD at this time. Reclaim DBS Therapy may treat some of the symptoms of OCD, but does not cure the underlying condition. If stimulation is discontinued, symptoms will likely return.


  1. Medtronic, Inc. data on file.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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