St Jude Medical-supported study shows DBS benefits for depression

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St Jude Medical has provided support for a new study that shows the potential benefits of deep brain stimulation (DBS) techniques for unipolar and bipolar depression.

The company's neuromodulation business unit donated a number of investigational DBS devices to Emory University in order to conduct a study spanning two years that involved 17 patients.

It was found that DBS can be a safe and effective intervention for treatment-resistant depression, providing significant decreases in disability and an increase in function, while no patients experienced manic or hypomanic episodes.

Co-investigators Paul Holtzheimer and Dr Robert Gross, both of whom have received consulting fees from St Jude Medical, said this process could help patients achieve full recoveries and be integrated back into society.

"We hope to optimise the rate of improvement for these patients by using a model of care that provides psychotherapeutic rehabilitation built on evidence-based psychotherapy but tailored to the specific individual's situation," said Mr Holtzheimer.

This comes after St Jude Medical itself published a study showing the benefits of DBS for severe depression treatment in November 2011.

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