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AANS: Deep Brain Stimulation Beneficial in Depression

Poor survival also seen in depressed patients who undergo glioma surgery and radiotherapy

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation may be effective in treating refractory chronic depression, and preoperative depression treatment may benefit patients who undergo surgery for malignant brain tumors, according to two studies presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Chicago.

In one study, Ali R. Rezai, M.D., director of The Cleveland Clinic's Center for Neurological Restoration, and colleagues treated 15 chronic and severely depressed patients who had failed multiple medication trials, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy with deep brain stimulation. They identified significant clinical responses in seven patients at six months, five patients at 12 months, and eight patients at 48 months.

In a second study, Matthew J. McGirt, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues studied 1,052 patients -- including 49 identified as depressed -- who underwent surgical resection and radiotherapy for glioma over a 10-year period. They found that 12-month and 20-month survival was significantly lower among the depressed than the non-depressed patients (15 percent versus 41 percent, and 0 percent versus 21 percent, respectively).

"Recognizing and treating depression preoperatively should be looked at more closely as a means to maximize survival in the treatment of malignant brain tumors," McGirt said in a statement.

The Rezai study received funding from Medtronic.

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