Drugs or Therapy? Brain Scans ID Best Depression Treatment

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 07:17 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
For patients with depression, there isn’t much hard science to help you or your doctor decide your best course of treatment – if talk therapy is right for you, or if you need antidepressants, such as Prozac. The wrong choice can bring on months of added suffering. But now a new study involving brain scans could change that.
 
Published in journal JAMA Psychiatry, the study involved 65 people with depression who had been randomly assigned to receive either 12 weeks of treatment with the antidepressant escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro), or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the most scientifically studied form of talk therapy for depression. CBT works by helping patients reframe negative thoughts and perceptions to help alter their mood.
 
Researchers from Emory University took PET scans of the patients’ brains both before and after their treatments, and then compared the brain activity of people who responded strongly to their treatment -- enough to resolve their depression -- to those of patients who didn’t respond at all. Partial responders were not included.
 
Patients who responded well differed from those who didn’t in one particular way -- in the activity of the insula, a brain region that assesses signals related to pain, temperature, and heart rate. While the insula tends to be active when sad, disgusted, or afraid, it also plays a role in pleasure.
 
“Low activity in the insula at baseline may reflect impaired sensitivity to signals [of] one’s internal state,” said lead author Dr. Helen Mayberg.
 
Findings showed that people who had less activity in the anterior part of the insula had better odds of success with CBT, but lower odds with medication. Yet for people with higher baseline activity in the insula, the situation was reversed: They responded to the medication and not as well to CBT.
 
While more research needs to be done, the study does illuminate how some brains work differently, and that this affects how they respond to treatments. Forbes magazine writes that "this is particularly relevant since, as the authors point out, when a medication doesn’t work for a patient, he or she is often put on another one, rather than being switched to psychotherapy."

© AFP/Relaxnews 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Selenium Found to Boost Cancer Treatment

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 16:50 PM

Selenium - naturally found in such foods as garlic and- may help in the fight against certain types of cancer, a new stu . . .

Football Players Suffer Brain Damage From Even Mild Impacts: Study

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 16:43 PM

Researchers using new, enhanced imaging can now identify brain damage that occurs in professional football players follo . . .

Healthy Gut Bacteria Prevent Metabolic Syndrome: Study

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 16:35 PM

Promoting healthy gut bacteria, also known as "microbiota," can help treat or prevent metabolic syndrome, a new study f . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved