Severe depression: Vagus nerve stimulator improves lives

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Severe depression: Vagus nerve stimulator improves lives

For people with treatment-resistant depression, adding vagus nerve stimulation to medication can drastically improve their quality of life, concludes a new study.

The National Institute of Mental Health suggest that over 16 million people in the United States have had at least one episode of major depression in the past year. Of these, more than 10 million adults report that the condition severely impaired their quality of life.

There are a variety of treatments available for depression, including therapy, medication, and making changes to one’s lifestyle. However, for some, these therapies are not enough to relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life. Some with treatment-resistant depression turn to neurostimulation. One type of neurostimulation is vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).

In VNS, a device is fitted in the patient’s chest or neck, under the skin. These devices send pulses of electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve, which starts in the brain, goes through the neck, and ends in the chest and abdomen. It is worth noting that in Osteopathy we do apply stimulation to the vagus nerve via craniosacral techniques as well as some soft tissue work.

Read the full study by click the button below.

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