Deep brain stimulation has been put forward as a potential “cure” for intractable drug addiction. This is largely based on preclinical studies in animal models of addiction and small case series of positive, but short-term, effects on addictive behaviour in highly selected individuals. The history of neurosurgical treatment for psychiatric disorders suggests that we should be cautious in prematurely advocating invasive neurosurgical procedures on the basis of such limited evidence. Further research is required in animal models of addiction and in people treated for other neurological or psychiatric disorders before trials in addicted populations can be justified
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