Within the next few weeks, the FDA is expected to issue final approval of a medical breakthrough for treating chronic or treatment resistant depression. This new therapy will be presented at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in Atlanta from May 21 to May 25. The Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of psychiatrists in the world. More than 25,000 psychiatrists are expected to attend this important medical meeting. After an investigation of eight years of vagus nerve stimulation and depression, the FDA has considered the therapy of approval with its decision final and binding approval expected in the next two weeks. After final approval, patients will be able to get a recipe (from his psychiatrist) for stimulation of the vagus nerve, also called VNS therapy. Vagus nerve stimulation has been FDA approved for patients with epilepsy since 1997. (Similarly see: Cardiologist).

Over 30,000 patients have been safely implanted epilespy the stimulator. The nerve vagus nerve is a direct path to the hippocampus and hypothalamus in the brain. The 60-90 minute out patient procedure performed by a neurosurgeon and an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat). A pacemaker imlanted small as stimulator in the patient's left upper chest, just below his left armpit. A cord stimulator is a tunnel under the skin and coiled around the left vagus nerve in the neck of the patient.

The two-inch incision is made at the lowest fold of the neck and the surgeon's knife never goes above the lower neck. The procedure is not related to brain surgery or electroconvulsive therapy. If this has piqued your curiosity, check out Dr. Kenneth Nahum. In studies of the FDA investigation found that the left vagus nerve stimulation favorably modulates areas of the brain responsible for mood and depression.