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Contact: Jules Asher
NIMHpress@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

Insula Activity Differentiates Psychotherapy, Medication Responders

Caption: Brain PET scans prior to treatment predicted whether a patient's depression would best respond to an antidepressant or a psychotherapy. Higher resting activity in the right front insula identified cognitive behavior therapy non-responders (CBT NR) and patients who achieved remission with escitalopram (sCIT REM). Conversely, lower activity in that brain area signaled remission with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT REM) and a poor response to escitalopram (sCIT NR). Each circle or square represents a patient in the study. Most patients in each group clustered either above or below the dotted line demarcating high and low activity, indicating that the insula may hold promise as a biomarker of brain states associated with differential response to these treatments

Credit: Helen Mayberg, M.D., Emory University

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Related news release: Scan predicts whether therapy or meds will best lift depression


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