Researchers have found that neuroimaging techniques have great potential in helping clinicians identify specific symptoms of mental health disorders associated with abnormal patterns of brain activity. There are still some problems to be solved before doctors can translate images of the brain into psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to new research led by Yale University. The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. (Please also read: Research Finds Past Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders Can Cause Future Conditions )
A few years ago, the US National Institute of Mental Health invested billions of dollars to find biomarkers of brain activity that indicated the biological roots of many of the mental disorders that today are usually identified by clinical assessment of astrology. started research activities. of often overlapping symptoms reported by patients.
“The idea is to forget about categorizing diseases by symptoms and find the underlying biological cause,” said Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University and senior author of the study. I’m here.
For the new study, a team led by Yale University builds on previous national studies in which Emory and Harvard scientists linked clusters of brain activity to different outcomes in patients arriving in U.S. emergency departments after traumatic events. attempted to replicate the findings of previous neuroimaging studies. Specifically, researchers measured brain activity in patients while performing simple tasks, including tasks that explored responses to threat and reward, and found high responses to both threat and reward signals. Clusters of brain activity were detected that appear to indicate sex and predict more. Later severe symptoms of PTSD.
However, when researchers at Yale University analyzed similar neuroimaging data collected from recent trauma survivors in Israel, they were unable to replicate these findings. We identified different clusters of brain activity in the brain, but found no association with future PTSD symptoms.
“I’m not saying one data set is right and the other is wrong,” says Ziv Ben-Zion of Yale University. It means that a lot of basic work needs to be done.” He is a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine and the corresponding author of the study.
In fact, Yale researchers are now collaborating with researchers from the original Emory Harvard study to synthesize the dataset and “look for common underlying patterns of brain activity associated with different responses to trauma.” “We are doing it,” said Ben Zion.
“It took about 100 years to come up with the current classification of psychiatric disorders, but we have only spent the last decade exploring ways to use biomarkers to refine psychiatric diagnoses. said Harpaz-Rotem. “We still have a long way to go.”
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