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Improving anxiety treatment through the help of brain imaging: A potential future treatment strategy
Date:5/8/2008

decrease in their anxiety symptoms, while those showing the reverse brain activation pattern (i.e., high amygdala, low prefrontal) did not.

John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments on this study, There is a tremendous need for biomarkers of treatment response. The paper by Whalen et al. joins a small group of preliminary studies suggesting that fMRI research might contribute to the effort to develop treatment biomarkers. He cautions, though, that while these are exciting data, we have yet to see this type of biomarker receive sufficient rigorous validation to be useful for matching patients to existing treatments or to test new potential treatment mechanisms. Dr. Whalen acknowledges the preliminary nature of their findings, noting that future studies will be needed to determine the exact impact that brain imaging might have in helping physicians prescribe anti-anxiety medications, but he concludes that while a brain scan would be a relatively expensive addition to the prescribing procedure, this cost pales in comparison to the amount of time, money and angst invested by patients who go through multiple medications and dosages looking for relief.


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Contact: Jayne Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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