Improving Anxiety Treatment Through The Help Of Brain Imaging: A Potential Future Treatment Strategy
May 12th, 2008 Smyrne
ScienceDaily (May 10, 2008) — Wouldn’t it be nice if our doctors could predict accurately whether we would respond to a particular medication? This question is important because research studies provide information about how groups of patients tend to respond to treatments, but inevitably, differences among groups of patients with the same diagnosis mean that findings about groups of patients may not apply to individuals from those groups.
“Personalized medicine” is the effort to match particular treatments to particular patients on the basis of genetic information or other biological markers. In a new article published in Biological Psychiatry on May 1st, researchers report their findings on the potential use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to match treatments for patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Whalen and colleagues recruited subjects diagnosed with GAD who underwent brain scans both before and after treatment with venlafaxine, an antidepressant that has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety. During the fMRI scans, the participants’ responses to viewing pictures of fearful facial expressions were measured. Read the rest of this entry »