Brain Scans Could Change How We Diagnose Depression - Temma Ehrenfeld
Brain scans may redefine depression and help doctors target treatment. Just as an electrocardiogram (EKG) shows the heart in action, a functional MRI shows the electrical activity of the brain. “We’ll see brain scan information help patients in three to five years,” said Helen Mayberg, MD, senior faculty of neurosurgery, neurology, psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of the center for advanced circuit therapeutics at the Mount Sinai Health System. “We’re going to have precision psychotherapy the way we have precision cancer treatment.” For some illnesses, we have “biomarkers” that can be seen on things such as a blood test. For other illnesses, doctors rely on a symptom history to make a diagnosis. The hope of the brain scan research is to find biomarkers for depression, and transform the field. “We’re trying to push the field so we can move away from the symptoms to the pathology,” Dr. Mayberg added.
- Helen Mayberg, MD, Senior Faculty, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, The Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics, Mount Sinai Health System