(dailyRx News) Depression is a major public health problem, and one of the most important challenges for psychiatrists is to determine whether an individual with depression should receive cognitive behavioral therapy or antidepressant medication.
A study by researchers from Emory University, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping in San Francisco, used brain imaging along with sophisticated statistical techniques to examine the differences in brain function that result from these two different kinds of treatment.
Forty individuals with depression were scanned with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy or antidepressant therapy. The researchers found that they could distinguish the brain activity of individuals undergoing the two different treatments. In particular, they found that the two treatments differently affected the communication of the brain areas thought to play a role in depression, including the communication between the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens and between the subgenual cingulate and the thalamus.
The results provide a basis for future research that will try to predict which individuals will benefit from different treatments for depression.
Organization for Human Brain Mapping