A study in the August issue of radiology reveals that the symptoms of depression can be reduced by inserting a stent to open a narrowed Carotid artery. Carotid stenosis is caused by the formation of plaque within the carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain. The build-up of plaque narrows the opening in the artery and can lead to stroke. An interventional radiologist uses an image-guidance system such as computed tomography and a guide wire to reach the site of the narrowing in the artery, expands the artery with a balloon and inserts a stent to hold the artery open. The study’s lead author Wolfgang Mlekusch, M.D., specialist of clinical angiology and internal medicine at Vienna General Hospital and Medical School in Vienna, Austria said: The patients in this study who received carotid stenting showed significantly fewer depressive symptoms than those who did not. Our findings suggest that opening the carotid artery and restoring blood flow to the brain via a minimally invasive technique under local anesthesia is associated with significant reduction in depressive symptoms. We were able to demonstrate a clear neuropsychological benefit to patients after carotid stenting.