Cyberonics, Inc would like you to pick up the latest issue of Neuropsychopharmacology (winner of the Longest One-word Journal Title Award). If you can’t shell out the cash for a subscription or $30 for access to a specific article, that’s all right because they’ve summarized it for you in a press release…
Cyberonics, Inc. today announced publication in the July 2006 issue of Neuropsychopharmacology (Neuropsychopharmacology 2006;31:1345-1355) of a peer-reviewed review article summarizing the results of a large body of studies that have investigated the mechanism of action of Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy. The review also summarizes the principal safety and efficacy data for VNS Therapy as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and pharmacoresistant epilepsy. The authors provide a basis for how VNS Therapy is unique in its antidepressant activity and conclude that VNS Therapy is a well-tolerated and important treatment option for a subset of patients with TRD. Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Emory University is lead author of the article, “VNS Therapy in Treatment-Resistant Depression: Clinical Evidence and Putative Neurobiological Mechanisms.”
Therapy on neurotransmitter systems showed that VNS Therapy alters the firing rates of serotonergic neurons, those neurons implicated in the mechanism of action of the serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant drugs, by a mechanism that is distinct from antidepressant drugs and consistent with the progressive increase in antidepressant response observed in clinical studies of VNS Therapy. In addition, data on mapping neural substrates support the concept that VNS Therapy acts directly by stimulating brain stem structures and indirectly by regulating the activity of neurons in limbic and cortical regions involved in mood regulation.
“After reviewing all the available data, taken together, it is clear that VNS Therapy is a promising treatment for patients living with TRD. Given the nature of TRD, it is exceptional that the antidepressant effect of VNS Therapy has been shown to improve over time and is sustained long-term for patients with TRD,” commented Dr. Nemeroff. Results of ongoing clinical and imaging studies will be critical to increasing our understanding of the mechanisms of action that mediate the beneficial effects of VNS Therapy for TRD.”
They go on from there (and drastically overuse the term “peer-reviewed”). You can find more from either the press release or the PubMed citation. For even more, check out Cyberonics‘ corporate site or their Google search trolling site, VNStherapy.com