MRI Brain Scans: Their Role In Helping Treat Depression
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that affects a wide range of people and for different reasons. While depression develops differently depending on the person or circumstance, depression can be treated through medications and therapies. A new MRI study may be helping clinicians decide on how to treat depression based on brain scans.
This MRI study focused primarily on whether medication or cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective at treating depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term treatment that is centered on a problem solving, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment for depression.
The study began by taking an MRI scan before and after the treatment to see how the brain changed following the addition of medication or CBT. The study revealed that “patients with positive connectivity between the brain regions were significantly more likely to achieve remission with CBT, whereas patients with negative or absent connectivity were more likely to remit with antidepressant medication”. In summary, the type of depression directly impacts which treatment method is most effective.
An Inside Looking Into Depression
As one of the most common mental disorders in America, research has revealed that genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors can cause depression. The major risk factors of developing depression include personal or family history of depression, major life changes, trauma, or stress, certain physical illnesses and medications.
The various types of depression include persistent depressive disorder, perinatal depression, psychotic depression, seasonal affective disorder, and bipolar disorder. While many factors play a part in developing depression, this MRI study shows that the treatment is best identified by brain measurements as apposed to clinical characteristics.
This MRI study will help to give physicians the answers to how to best treat depression in the future. We hope you found this study as interesting as we did and learned something about this common mood disorder.