The Efficacy and Safety of Neuromodulation Treatments in Late-Life Depression.
Purpose of review: In this review, the efficacy and safety of FDA approved neuromodulation devices (electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)), as well as emerging neuromodulation treatments currently under investigation.
Recent findings: ECT is the “gold standard” somatic therapy for treatment resistant depression (TRD). Although the clinical benefits are outweighed by potential cognitive and cardiovascular side effects in majority of cases, it remains unfairly stigmatized. TMS has few cognitive or somatic side effects but is not as effective the treatment of psychotic depression or more treatment resistant depression in elders. VNS has limited data in older patients but has been shown to be effective in chronic, treatment resistant adults. Several investigative neuromodulation treatments including magnetic seizure therapy (MST), focal electrically administered seizure therapy (FEAST), transcutaneous VNS (tVNS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and deep brain simulation (DBS) shown promise in geriatric TRD.
Summary: ECT, TMS and VNS are effective treatment for late-life depression, and research has continued to refine the techniques. Investigative neuromodulation techniques are promising, but evidence for the safety and efficacy of these devices in the geriatric population is needed.
PMID: 33585164 [PubMed]
Curr Treat Options Psychiatry. 2020 Sep;7(3):337-348
Authors: van Rooij SJH, Riva-Posse P, McDonald WM