I attended the Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression Conference at the headuarters of the manufacturer of the vagus nerve stimulator in Houston. The meeting was attended by the leading psychiatric thought leaders in the United States.
The scientists and researchers at the conference made the some comments that are important to you:
20% of patients cannot tolerate antidepressants, 35% of patients will lose the efficacy of an antidepressant that previously worked for them
Patients who suffer from chronic depression have a high co-morbidity rate with respect to other illnesses, i.e. they suffer other illnesses such as chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, obesity and are at higher risk for Type II diabetes
Anatomic targeting of parts of the brain is very important
Patterns of stimulation can dramatically improve outcomes
There is a direct pathway via the vagus nerve that targets those areas of the brain responsible for mood and depression
Compared to ECT, which can be very effective, the sustained benefit and lack of memory loss with vagus nerve stimulation is very important
Vagus nerve stimulation projects to key brain stem regions
The advantage of stimulation compared to drugs is that stimulation leaves no residue on the brain
Formal research by scientists about vagus nerve stimulation and depression will continue for the next 5 years
Clearly the impulses sent to the brain via the vagus nerve are superior to antidepressants because they strategically target the critical areas of the brain in a much more efficient and effective way then pharmacuticals.
You can learn more about the first ever FDA approved long term treatment option for depression at http://www.VagusNerveStimulator.com
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 was exhibited at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting in May. It is available on his web site, 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the toll free number 1-888-VAGUS-88, Amazon.com and Barnes 7 Noble.com. He is founder of the http://www.VagusNerveStimulator.com Web Site.