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Nerve-stimulation therapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression now available in New York

NEW YORK NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is the first in the greater New York City-area to offer Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy as a long-term treatment specifically approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

VNS Therapy is approved as a long-term adjunctive (add-on) treatment for patients 18 years of age and older who are experiencing a major depressive episode and have not had an adequate response to four or more adequate antidepressant treatments. VNS Therapy was approved for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in 1997, and is now the first treatment specifically studied and approved for TRD. Major depressive disorder is one of the most prevalent and serious illnesses in the U.S., affecting nearly 19 million Americans every year. Of those, one fifth, or approximately four million people, do not respond to multiple antidepressant treatments. For these people, psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, and even sometimes electroconvulsive therapy do not work, or only work for a short while and stop working over time. VNS Therapy is a newly approved treatment option for these people.

"Patients with treatment-resistant depression need safe and effective therapeutic options. The availability of an FDA-approved treatment for the long-term management of depression is an important development for the disturbingly large number of people with depression who have not responded to other approved treatment options," says Dr. Sarah H. Lisanby, director of the Columbia Brain Stimulation Service at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is also director of the Brain Stimulation and Neuromodulation Division, director of the Brain Behavior Clinic, and research scientist in the Department of Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

"Open studies suggest that the benefit
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Contact: Craig LeMoult
cel2113@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
4-Nov-2005


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