Vagus nerve stimulation for treatment resistant depression: Case series of six patients-retrospective efficacy and safety observation after one year follow up

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Abstract

Objective: One year observation and evaluation of the VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) efficacy and safety for patients with treatment resistant depression in Polish conditions. Methods: An open label, uncontrolled and one center retrospective study of VNS therapy was implemented with stable pharmacotherapy in 6 patients with treatment resistant depression (TRD). For the first 3 months, only VNS parameters were altered but the pharmacological treatment was unchanged and in the following 9 months, medication and VNS dosing parameters were altered according to the clinical state of the patients. Results: The baseline 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-24) score averaged 24. Both response (>50% reduction in baseline scores) and remission rates after 3 months of treatment were only 40%. After 1 year of VNS therapy, the response rates increased to 86%. Most frequent side-effects were voice alteration (86% at 3 months of stimulation) and head- aches (40%). Conclusion: VNS treatment was safe and effective in TRD patients and its efficacy increased with time. Efficacy ratings are similar to the previously reported studies using a congenial protocol.

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Kucia, K., Merk, W., Zapalowicz, K., & Medrala, T. (2019). Vagus nerve stimulation for treatment resistant depression: Case series of six patients-retrospective efficacy and safety observation after one year follow up. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 15, 3247–3254. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S217816

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