Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

VNS Gains Maintained Up to 2 Years. (Treatment-Resistant Depression)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

VNS Gains Maintained Up to 2 Years. (Treatment-Resistant Depression)

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- Depressed patients who respond to treatment with vagus nerve stimulation are likely to maintain their gains up to 2 years later, Dr. James M. Martinez said in a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Patients who did not respond initially also showed a marked reduction in depressive symptoms at 2 years, said Dr. Martinez of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. An open trial of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), a modality developed for treatment-resistant epilepsy, has shown promising antidepressant effects in patients with chronic depression (mean duration of the current episode, 10 years) that had resisted other therapy.

In the acute phase of the trial, 31% of 60 patients responded to 10 weeks of VNS (50% or greater reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale), and 15% had remissions. At 1-year follow-up, both response and remission rates had improved to 45% and 27% respectively.

Dr. Martinez reported results of a study of the first 30 patients who were followed for 2 years after the end of the acute trial. …

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