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VNS alleviates chronic anxiety in
at MUSC and three other universities announced the results
of a four-year pilot study involving the long-term response to Vagus
Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy as an add-on treatment in patients with
treatment-resistant anxiety disorders. The study, led by Mark S.
George, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and
Neurosciences, appeared in the second issue of peer-reviewed Brain
“Despite the availability of many treatments for anxiety disorders,
only a minority of patients experience treatment-response, especially
with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),” George said. “Data suggests
VNS therapy might be a potential long-term treatment for anxiety
disorders. We are encouraged to see the unique benefits of VNS therapy
for patients with treatment-resistant anxiety disorders.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Admini-stration approved VNS therapy in 2005 as
an adjunctive long-term treatment for chronic or recurrent depression
for patients (18 years of age or older) who are experiencing a major
depressive episode and have not had an adequate reaction to four or
more antidepressant treatments.
VNS therapy is delivered from a small pacemaker-like device implanted
in the chest area that sends mild pulses to the brain via the vagus
nerve in the neck. It is the only device ever studied and approved for
The study, which focused on patients with obsessive-compulsive
disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder,
demonstrated VNS therapy was well tolerated by a small group of
participants. In addition, patients who received adjunctive open-label
VNS continued to experience significant long-term improvements.
Editor’s note: For information contact Megan Fink, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, June 27, 2008
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