Deep Brain Stimulation: Inducing Self-Estrangement
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Despite growing evidence that a significant number of patients living with Parkison’s disease experience neuropsychiatric changes following Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) treatment, the phenomenon remains poorly understood and largely unexplored in the literature. To shed new light on this phenomenon, we used qualitative methods grounded in phenomenology to conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 17 patients living with Parkinson’s Disease who had undergone DBS. Our study found that patients appear to experience postoperative DBS-induced changes in the form of self-estrangement. Using the insights from patients’ subjective perceptions of postoperative self-change provides a potent explanation of potential DBS-induced self-estrangement.
KeywordsDeep brain stimulation Estrangement Identity Neuropsychiatric effects Parkinson’s disease Personality Phenomenology Responsibility Self Self-report
Special thank to Neuroethics anonymous reviewers and editor for their insightful comments; as well Dr David Basser, Dr James Stuart and Timothy Krahn. Funding from the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (project number DE150101390), University of Tasmania (Project Number G0022813), as well a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF Award EEC-1028725) are gratefully acknowledged.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was conducted in compliance with the Tasmanian Human Research Ethics Committee regulations. Patient Consent and Minimal Risk Ethics Application Approval, entitled “H0014820 Deep Brain Stimulation and Postoperative Self-Adjustment Phenomenon” are also in compliance with the Tasmanian Human Research Ethics Committee regulations. Ethical Approval was obtained in May 2015.
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