Brain scans could detect best anti-depressants to take

13th Oct 2016

Scientists have found that brain scans could help diagnose which depression medication would work best for individuals. This knowledge can help speed up the process of finding the right medication from a number of years, to a matter of weeks.

The study measured the activity levels of the amygdala, part of the brain that plays a role in emotions, during exposure to stress in early life through questionnaires and reactions when participants were given photos of different facial expressions.

The patients who did not react well to happy faces, were not responding to the anti-depressants they were on. Early life stress impaired their amygdala and therefore, those not reacting well to the happy faces were not responding to the medication they were using.

The research still needs further investigation, but it holds promising thoughts for how future treatment to patients with mental illness can be helped. 

To read the full article, please visit the American journal Proceedings of National Academics of Science.

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