HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Saturday, February 5, 2005

FDA Hints at Approval for Implant to Treat Depression

Wow!  The New York Times reports on a new device called the VNS Pulse 102 manufactured by Cyberonics.  The VNS Pulse 102 may be approved by the FDA as a form of  therapy for chronic depression that is resistant to other treatmentsapparently treats depression.  The Times describes the device as follows:

"The device, which is called the VNS Pulse 102 and is the size of a pocket watch, is implanted in the upper chest and connected via thin wires to the vagus nerves in the neck. It sends pulses through the nerves into parts of the brain associated with the diseases being treated.

'It's sort of a pacemaker for the brain," said Dr. Peter Whybrow, an expert on depression at the University of California, Los Angeles.'"

I am not clear on whether this same technology may be used in modified forms to treat other mental disabilities but it is interesting to see alternatives to the current medications that are usually prescribed.  [bm]

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