LivaNova announced today that Symmetry, a device for vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy, has received CE Mark approval for difficult-to-treat depression.

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Symmetry is a small device that stimulates the vagus nerve to improve symptoms of depression and quality of life. After surgical implantation, the device regularly sends mild electric pulses to the vagus nerve, which is connected to areas of the brain that control mood. While previous devices for VNS therapy have received CE Mark for the treatment of depression, Symmetry is the newest and is specifically designed for this indication.

Symmetry won FDA approval in September 2019, and has already been used in over 100,000 patients worldwide, according to the company. In the US, treatment with Symmetry is indicated for the adjunctive long-term treatment of chronic or recurrent depression for patients 18 years of age or older who are experiencing a major depressive episode and have not had an adequate response to four or more antidepressant treatments. Side effects usually occur during stimulation and include hoarseness, shortness of breath, sore throat, and coughing. Patients using Symmetry can continue with other medical treatments for depression.

“For the many patients around the world with depression that is difficult to treat, VNS Therapy may transform their lives by giving them relief from the symptoms they struggle with every day,” said Damien McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of LivaNova, in a statement. “We truly appreciate the dedication and commitment it took across the NHS teams to develop a pathway connecting ENT surgical services and mental health to give more patients with depression that is difficult to treat access to this innovative therapy.”

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