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PET scans can detect the results of cognitive behavior therapy

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan images can successfully detect the changes in the brain // that occur following the cognitive behavior therapy in patients. Researchers behind the study feel that this may prove that cognitive behavior therapy can bring about changes in the brain chemical levels that will get long lasting results in patients like those suffering from bulimia nervosa.

Cognitive behavior therapy is a new kind of therapy for mental health that uses cognitive therapy techniques and behavior therapy techniques together to bring about changes in the mental health conditions of patients suffering from depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa etc.

Researchers of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who had conducted their research on patients of bulimia nervosa, found that cognitive behavior therapy affected the brains chemicals called opioids. These are chemicals that play a part in lessening

Hurting sensations and help the individual to feel positive and fulfilled. The research results point out to cognitive behavior therapy causing mu-opioid receptor bindings in the regions of the brain that deal with eating and sense of rewards in patients of bulimia nervosa. Pet scans are successful in picking up the images of these brain chemicals before and after the cognitive behavior therapy.

Reference: Society of Nuclear Medicine, 52nd Annual Meeting, press release, June 2005
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