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By On May 16th, 2006

Brain Scan Predicts Response to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Emotional well being directly affects the health of both the mind and body. More and more studies are being published which validate this fact. Recently, a medical team in Pittsburgh conducted a clinical study on the effect that cognitive behavioral therapy has on the physical mind. The study found that the subjects who had depression, those that showed “low sustained reactivity in the subgenual cingulated cortex and high reactivity in the amygdale,” had the greatest amount of benefit after 16 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy. The study was composed of 14 patients (seven men and seven women) with depression and 21 control subjects that had never had depression. The subjects underwent a functional MRI (fMRI) before and after 12 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy. The following is an excerpt of an article about the study:

“Brains scans of depressed people performing emotional processing tasks may help predict those most likely to benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. By using functional MRI to monitor areas of the brain that are activated or deactivated in response to emotional stimuli, a team at the University of Pittsburgh believes it can detect with reasonable accuracy those for whom it is worth pursuing cognitive behavioral therapy.”

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