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Biological Psychiatry Confirms of Efficacy and Safety of VNS Therapy for Depression

The September 1, 2005 issue of Biological Psychiatry confirmed the efficacy and safety of vagus nerve stimulation for chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its final approval of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for depression.

The data from the pivotal clinical trial of vagus nerve stimulation and depression was been on published September 1st, in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal of Biological Psychiatry. There were three articles published in Biological Psychiatryabout VNS Therapy and depression. The articles confirm the association of VNS Therapy with significant antidepressant benefits that are sustained and/or growing over one year for patients with chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. Secondly, the long-term safety of the procedure was confirmed.

"The response and remission and sustained long-term benefits realized by the patients treated with adjunctive VNS Therapy is remarkable, given that participants in the trials were some of the most treatment-resistant, depressed patients ever studied, with at least half having been hospitalized for the disease at least once," commented Dr. A. John Rush, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman for Research, Department of Psychiatry, Betty Jo Hay Chair in Mental Health, Rosewood Corporation Chair in Biomedical Science, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. "The VNS studies presented in these publications provide substantial evidence of a growing benefit of VNS Therapy over time when other treatments have not worked or have stopped working. This is particularly encouraging given the nature of treatment-resistant depression, a devastating and difficult to treat condition."

The publication of these articles is very important to you because third party payers (private insurance companies, Medicare, etc.) will help facilitate the approval of reimbursement of VNS Therapy for depression. Although reimbursement decisions will continue to be on a case-by-case basis, this is a critical next step which will be viewed very positively by insurance companies, Medicare as well as your psychiatrist.

You can learn more about this remarkable treatment at There is a free newsletter to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments on this first ever FDA approved long term treatment option for chronic or recurrent depression.

Charles Donovan was a study study subject in the FDA investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation and chronic depression. He is the author of:

Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression and founder of the Web site - which is available on, 1-888-VAGUS-88 and at


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