UT Southwestern researchers have found brain imaging to be useful when prescribing medication for depression. It turns out that making images of the brain’s activity in various states, such as being at rest or engulfed in emotional turmoil, helps sketch an accurate picture of how depression manifests a particular patient.
“Much like technology can discern individuals through fingerprints and facial scans, studies prove we can utilize imaging to identify specific signatures of depression in people,” says Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, founding director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, via release.
Artificial intelligence played a role in segments of the study when identifying lateral prefrontal cortices to predict if participants would benefit from an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It was concluded that participants with abnormal neural responses during emotional uproar were less likely to make improvements within two months of starting the medication.
Trivedi plans to aggregate blood and brain tests while augmenting brain imaging to accurately prescribe the much-needed medical help.