In any given year, an estimated 18.8 million U.S. adults suffer from clinical depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For someone diagnosed with clinical depression, negative moods and emotions significantly interfere with normal functioning and once-pleasurable activities. This condition may have one or more causes, including genetic predisposition and extreme or prolonged stress. Brain scans of people with depression reveal changes in brain areas involved with mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior. Most depression can be treated with oral antidepressant medication and/or therapy. Severe cases require more significant intervention. In some cases, deep brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or vagal nerve stimulation have been found beneficial in depression not relieved by other means.

Reviewed April 2, 2012
Jaimie Henderson, MD
Director-at-Large, International Neuromodulation Society, 2011-2014
Director, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery; Associate Professor, Neurosurgery; Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, USA

Last Updated on Sunday, November 21, 2021 08:17 PM