Vagus nerve stimulation in therapy of depression - description of the method and some critical remarks
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Psychiatr Pol 2010;44(1):71-88
Recently some new physical techniques were investigated for their antidepressive efficacy. Only vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) was approved for treatment of chronic and/or recurrent depression. The submitted paper describes the VNS technique and presents several critical attentions. The main restrictions join with difficulties with complying of blind test conditions in clinical investigations. On one hand an ethical problem is providing the same stimulation in a chronic test, i.e. leaving the implanted stimulator in the switched off state. In turn sensory experiences connected with a current flowing let the patient know that he receives true stimulation. The given conditions allow for a critical attitude towards results from clinical investigations about the real efficacy of VNS technique. The declared advantages connected with the profile of the VNS technique seem to be however illusory - in relationship with fact, that it is not an independent treatment method, but it is added to conventional pharmacotherapy.
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