According to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the year 2020, depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide. However, the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated.
Within the next few weeks, the FDA is expected to issue its final approval of a medical breakthrough treatment for chronic or treatment-resistant depression. This new therapy will be presented at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting in Atlanta from May 21st-May 25th. The Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of psychiatrists in the world. Over 25,000 psychiatrists are expected to attend this important medical meeting.
After an eight-year investigation of vagus nerve stimulation and depression, the FDA has deemed the therapy approvable with its final and binding approval decision expected within the next two weeks. Upon final approval, patients will be able to get a prescription( from their psychiatrist) for vagus nerve stimulation, also called VNS Therapy. Vagus nerve stimulation has been FDA approved for epilepsy patients since 1997. Over 30,000 epilespy patients have safely been implanted with the stimulator. The vagus nerve nerve is a direct pathway to the hippocampus and hypothalmus in the brain.
The 60-90 minute out-patient procedure is performed by a neurosurgeon or an otolaryngologist( Ear, nose and throat). A small pacemaker-like stimulator is imlanted in the patient's upper left chest, just below the left arm pit. A lead wire from the stimulator is tunneled underneath the skin and coiled around the left vagus nerve in the patient's neck. The two- inch incision is made at the lowest fold of the neck and the surgeon's knife never goes above the lowest part of the neck.
The procedure is unrelated to brain surgery or electro-convulsive therapy. In the FDA investigational studies, it was proven that stimulation to the left vagus nerve favorably modulates those areas of the brain responsible for mood and depression. There are no pain fibers in the vagus nerve, so most patients do not feel any discomfort or sensation when the device is activated.
When approved, vagus nerve stimulation will be the first FDA approved long-term therapy for patients who have not had an adequate response to traditional antidepressants.
Learn more how this therapy can bring genuine happiness and joy to your life at www.vagusnervestimulator.com There is a free newsletter to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments. Also available on the site is the book Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression. Do yourself a favor and become fully educated about this remarkable device. It could change your life.
Charles Donovan was a patient in the FDA investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. He was implanted with the vagus nerve stimulator in April of 2001. He chronicles his journey from the grips of depression thanks to vagus nerve stimulation therapy in his book:
Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression
The book will be exhibited at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting, May 21st-May 26th in Atlanta, GA. This is the largest gathering of psychiatrists in the world( 25,000 attendees).