Vagus Nerve Stimulation: What Do We Have When All Treatments Have Failed?

You’re invited to join the Clinical TMS Society for this installment of our Grand Rounds Webinar Series: Vagus Nerve Stimulation: What Do We Have When All Treatments Have Failed?  featuring Dr. Scott Aaronson!

Despite compelling evidence for efficacy, vagus nerve stimulation has languished due to problems with the design of two randomized clinical trials which led to a non coverage determination (NCD) made by in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) in 2007.  After a seminal comparative observational study was published in 2017, CMS agreed to rescind its NCD and agreed to fund a coverage with evidence  development study for up to 1000 participants with either unipolar or bipolar depression.  The unipolar arm of the one year study will be completed in the Spring of 2024.  In preparation for the potential clinical availability of VNS, we will review the proposed mechanism of action, identify appropriate candidates, review the existing outcomes data and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this unique albeit invasive treatment approach for the most severely treatment resistant depressions.

At the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1.  describe the proposed mechanism of action for VNS
  2.  identify potential candidates for the use of VNS
  3.  list the most frequent adverse events found in the use of VNS

1 Hour CME Credit available

Format: On-Demand

Cost: Members: $25 | Non-members $50 | Student Members FREE


Scott T. Aaronson, MD, DLLAPA, FCTMSS

Dr. Scott Aaronson is a thought leader in the areas of biological psychiatry, diagnosis, and the integration of somatic and psychological therapies. He is an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and is a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Aaronson also serves/served on the boards of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Clinical TMS Society. 

In addition to his work at The Retreat, Dr. Aaronson is the director of clinical research programs at Sheppard Pratt, where he is the principal investigator for multiple studies on the development of therapies for mood and anxiety disorders. He has particularly been involved with the development of new strategies to alleviate the symptoms in treatment resistant mood disorders, and has published numerous articles on his research including pivotal studies in the use of devices—Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)—in the treatment of severe refractory mood disorders. Most recently, he was named the Chief Science Officer of the Sheppard Pratt Institute for Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics, focused on the development of uses for psychedelic medications across the spectrum of psychiatric illness.