Nerve Stimulation for Severe Depression Changes Brain Function, Washington University School of Medicine Study

Published: May 08, 2013

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For nearly a decade, doctors have used an implanted electronic stimulator to treat severe depression in people who don't respond to standard antidepressant therapy. Now, preliminary brain scan studies conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are beginning to reveal the processes occurring in the brain during stimulation and may provide some clues about how the device improves depression. They found that vagus nerve stimulation brings about changes in brain metabolism weeks or even months before patients begin to feel better.

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