Deep brain stimulation for addiction: why the subthalamic nucleus should be favored

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Aug;23(4):713-20. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.02.016. Epub 2013 Mar 25.


Surgical treatment for psychiatric disorders has been revitalized for the past ten years after deep brain stimulation (DBS) had shown its efficacy for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. In the field of psychiatric disorders, DBS has been first used for obsessive compulsive disorder and treatment-resistant depression. Only recently it has been proposed for the treatment of addiction. Whatever the disease, the selected target is a constant question. In this review, we present theoretical, empirical and technical arguments in favor of targeting the subthalamic nucleus as the best candidate over other areas for DBS in the treatment of drug addiction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Humans
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*