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Vagus Nerve Stimulation For Treatment Resistant Depression: Case Series Of Six Patients - Retrospective Efficacy And Safety Observation After One Year Follow Up

Authors Kucia K, Merk W, Zapalowicz K, Medrala T

Received 30 May 2019

Accepted for publication 15 August 2019

Published 25 November 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3247—3254


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Krzysztof Kucia,1 Wojciech Merk,1 Krzysztof Zapalowicz,2 Tomasz Medrala1

1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, GCM, Katowice 40-635, Poland; 2Neurosurgery Ward, GCM, Katowice 40-635, Poland

Correspondence: Krzysztof Kucia
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, GCM, ul. Ziolowa 45/47, Katowice 40-635, Poland
Tel +48 322059260
Email [email protected]

Objective: One year observation and evaluation of the VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) efficacy and safety for patients with treatment resistant depression in Polish conditions.
Methods: An open label, uncontrolled and one center retrospective study of VNS therapy was implemented with stable pharmacotherapy in 6 patients with treatment resistant depression (TRD). For the first 3 months, only VNS parameters were altered but the pharmacological treatment was unchanged and in the following 9 months, medication and VNS dosing parameters were altered according to the clinical state of the patients.
Results: The baseline 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-24) score averaged 24. Both response (>50% reduction in baseline scores) and remission rates after 3 months of treatment were only 40%. After 1 year of VNS therapy, the response rates increased to 86%. Most frequent side-effects were voice alteration (86% at 3 months of stimulation) and headaches (40%).
Conclusion: VNS treatment was safe and effective in TRD patients and its efficacy increased with time. Efficacy ratings are similar to the previously reported studies using a congenial protocol.

Keywords: vagus nerve stimulation, treatment resistant depression, brain stimulation

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