Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for major depressive episodes: One year outcomes

Lauren B. Marangell, A. John Rush, Mark S. George, Harold A. Sackeim, Christopher R. Johnson, Mustafa M. Husain, Ziad Nahas, Sarah H. Lisanby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Vagus nerve stimulation has shown promising results in an open, acute phase pilot study of adults in a treatment-resistant major depressive episode. This open, naturalistic follow-up study was conducted to determine whether the initial promising effects were sustained, and whether changes in function would be observed. Methods: Thirty adult outpatients in a treatment-resistant, nonpsychotic major depressive episode received an additional 9 months of vagus nerve stimulation treatment following exit from the 3-month acute study. Changes in psychotropic medications and vagus nerve stimulation stimulus parameters were allowed during this longer-term follow-up study. A priori definitions were used to define response (≥ 50% reduction in baseline Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total score) and remission (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression ≤ 10). Results: The response rate was sustained [40% (12/30) to 46% (13/28); p = .317] and the remission rate significantly increased [17% (5/30) to 29% (8/28); p = .045] with an additional 9 months of long-term vagus nerve stimulation treatment after exit from the acute study (1 year total vagus nerve stimulation treatment). Significant improvements in function between acute study exit and the 1-year follow-up assessment as measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 were observed. Conclusions: Longer-term vagus nerve stimulation treatment was associated with sustained symptomatic benefit and sustained or enhanced functional status in this naturalistic follow-up study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grant support was received from Cyberonics, Inc. Portions of this work were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 11, 2000.

Keywords

  • Bipolar depression
  • Depression
  • Maintenance
  • Treatment
  • Treatment-resistant
  • Vagus nerve stimulation

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