Researchers at QBI are looking for participants diagnosed with treatment-resistant Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If you are you between 18 and 70 years of age and live within reasonable travelling distance to Brisbane, you may be eligible to participate in a study designed to alleviate the symptoms of severe treatment-resistant-OCD through the use of deep brain stimulation.

About the trial

Deep Brain Stimulation has been successfully used to treat patients with movement disorders, such as Tourette's and Parkinson's disease, but is a relatively new treatment for patients with treatment-resistant Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This project aims to identify electrical activity in the brain that may guide future management of the severe form of OCD using a brain pacemaker.

Following psychiatric referral, initial screening and enrolment, participants will undergo DBS surgery followed by a two-year program of care by a neurologist, neurosurgeon, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

Key Inclusion Criteria

We are looking for participants who:

  • are males and females
are between ages 18–70

  • have a diagnosis of severe OCD according to the DSM-V criteria

  • score above 24 on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

  • have tried the best available medical and psychological treatments for OCD, including:
    • Clomipramine

    • A course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

  • Reside within reasonable travelling distance of Brisbane

What is Treatment-Resistant OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects ~3% of the population. People with OCD suffer with intrusive, anxiety- provoking thoughts (obsessions) that they try to resist. These obsessions may be accompanied by mental acts or behaviours (compulsions), which must be carried out to neutralise the obsessions, or to reduce anxiety associated with them. Treatment resistance usually refers to a lack of significant improvement to appropriate treatment.

What is DBS?

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) involves positioning one or more stimulating electrodes into the brain, which are connected to a pulse generator – or ‘brain pacemaker’ – attached to the chest wall. Brain activity in regions close to the electrode are altered by the small field of electricity produced by the electrodes. The process of implanting the electrode and delivering stimulation has been shown to be quite safe and the electrodes can be removed if necessary.

DBS has proven to be an effective and safe treatment for neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and is widely employed throughout the world. In recent years, DBS has also being investigated for the treatment of psychiatric conditions that have failed to respond to other therapies.


If you are interested in participating in this trial, please contact Sara Gottliebsen:
+61 7 334 66353 (Mon, Tue, Thu Fri) or



Lisa McKeown, Clinical Trials Manager
 +617 3831 2393