CNTW RADS published world’s first criteria for use of VNS for difficult to treat depression


VNS Therapy® is a neurostimulatory treatment which may treat depression, requiring minor surgery to implant a small device in the chest wall with a lead to the vagus nerve in the left side of the neck. Because of the need for surgery and a relatively high initial cost, the treatment is most appropriate when other treatments (e.g. medication, psychotherapy) have not been successful. However, the question is how many failed treatments are required before considering VNS. This paper describes criteria used by the Newcastle Regional Affective Disorders Service in the UK to decide when VNS may be appropriate.