Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Alleviate Chronic Depression

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Mild to moderate forms of depression are often amenable to pharmacological or psychological approaches, but severe depression is a different matter. The successful treatment of very deep depression is something of a Holy Grail for many in the mental health field.

This is why invasive procedures such as Deep Brain Stimulation and now Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) are of such interest. VNS involves implanting a kind of pacemaker into the chest that delivers electrical impulses to the mood centres of the brain every five minutes.

This latest research found that around a quarter of patients experienced a complete remission from their symptoms after extended treatment.

University of Texas
Article on VNS as well as some people’s treatment experiences.

About the author

Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog and His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 31 August 2005

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