Deep Brain Stimulation for a Patient With Autism and OCD

Deep  Brain Stimulation pic

Deep Brain Stimulation

As Seton Brain and Spine Institute’s chief of functional neurosurgery and neuroscience, Robert Buchanan, MD, provides Austin,Texas, patients with quality care spanning epilepsy and spine surgery. In this role, Robert Buchanan, MD also administers treatments such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s disease patients.

As reported by the news station KVUE in 2015, Dr. Buchanan has employed the DBS approach for a patient living with autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The patient’s mother placed him in the care of Seton Brain and Spine Institute, which undertook a pioneering use of DBS for this condition. As described by the physician, once the stimulator was turned off, the patient “lit up” and interacted with people in the room in a way that was new and strikingly positive.

Prior to treatment, the patient had lived with a severe form of OCD almost from birth that put him through continuous “mental gymnastics” and made doing almost anything without fuss difficult. Following the surgery, his mother noticed that her son had increased capacity and desire to communication. The patient himself describes DBS, which involves targeted surgical electrodes in the brain, as providing him with increased focus and making him more willing to engage with others in conversation.


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About robertbuchananmd

A board certified psychiatrist and neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert Buchanan, MD currently holds posts at a variety of central Texas medical and academic institutions. As Chief of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery & Neuroscience at the Seton Healthcare Brain and Spine Institute, Dr. Buchanan performs a full spectrum of neurosurgical procedures. In addition to treating general disorders of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves, Dr. Buchanan is also trained in a range of subspecialty fields including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, dystonia, and deep brain stimulation. From its location in Austin, the Seton Healthcare Brain and Spine Institute has been serving the medical needs of central Texas since 2010. Dr. Buchanan serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) and at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He teaches medical courses to both the Psychiatry and Neurology residents. He also teaches a course at UTA called "Neurobiology of Disease." This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. The graduate section emphasizes "translational research techniques and thinking." He is training the next generation of research scientists to use basic science techniques to solve clinical neurological diseases by introducing them to relevant scientific and clincial principles. Educating the next generation of physicians and scientists is very important to Dr. Buchanan, who himself is an accomplished "Physician-Scientist." Dr. Buchanan's undergraduate education was at the University of Chicago. The Universtiy of Chicago has had the most number of Nobel Laureates both as students and faculty. Proceeding to earn his MD with Distinction in Research from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1993, Dr. Buchanan went on to complete an internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami. This internship was followed by dual residencies in Psychiatry and Neurosurgery at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Robert Buchanan, MD has also completed fellowships in Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology at UCSD, as well as a fellowship in Epilepsy Surgery at Yale University. He has been treating patients in central Texas since 2007.

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