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Therapy or antidepressants? Coming soon: Brain activity “fingerprints” to personalize depression treatments

mental health.

To Treat Depres­sion, Drugs or Ther­a­py? (The New York Times):

Until recent­ly, many experts thought that your clin­i­cian could lit­er­al­ly pick any anti­de­pres­sant or type of psy­chother­a­py at ran­dom because, with a few clin­i­cal excep­tions, there was lit­tle evi­dence to favor one treat­ment over anoth­er for a giv­en patient

Although the holy grail of per­son­al­ized ther­a­py — be it with psy­chotrop­ic drugs or psy­chother­a­py — has proved elu­sive, we’ve learned a lot recent­ly about indi­vid­ual fac­tors that might pre­dict a bet­ter response to one type of treat­ment over anoth­er…

We know that the insu­la is cen­tral­ly involved in the capac­i­ty for emo­tion­al self-aware­ness, cog­ni­tive con­trol and deci­sion mak­ing, all of which are impaired by depres­sion. Per­haps cog­ni­tive behav­ior ther­a­py has a more pow­er­ful effect than an anti­de­pres­sant in patients with an under­ac­tive insu­la because it teach­es patients to con­trol their emo­tion­al­ly dis­turb­ing thoughts in a way that an anti­de­pres­sant can­not…

One day soon, we may be able to quick­ly scan a patient with an M.R.I. or PET, check the brain activ­i­ty “fin­ger­print” and select an anti­de­pres­sant or psy­chother­a­py accord­ing­ly.”

–>To learn more about the future of brain health and men­tal health, check out this pre­sen­ta­tion deliv­ered by Dr. Thomas Insel, Direc­tor of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health, at the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit.

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.