Predicting how patients respond to therapySeptember 06, 2012
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- A new study led by MIT neuroscientists has found that brain scans of patients with social anxiety disorder can help predict whether they will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy.
Social anxiety is usually treated with either cognitive behavioral therapy or medications. However, it is currently impossible to predict which treatment will work best for a particular patient. The team of researchers from MIT, Boston University (BU) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that the effectiveness of therapy could be predicted by measuring patients' brain activity as they looked at photos of faces, before the therapy sessions began.
The findings, published this week in the Archives of General Psychiatry, may help doctors choose more effective treatments for social anxiety disorder, which is estimated to affect around 15 million people in the United States.
"Our vision is that some of these measures might direct individuals to treatments that are more likely to work for them," says John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and senior author of the paper.
Lead authors of the paper are MIT postdoc Oliver Doehrmann and Satrajit Ghosh, a research scientist in the McGovern Institute.
Sufferers of social anxiety disorder experience intense fear in social situations that interferes with their ability to function in daily life. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to change the thought and behavior patterns that lead to anxiety. For social anxiety disorder patients, that might include learning to reverse the belief that others are watching or judging them.
The new paper is part of a larger study that MGH and BU ran recently on cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety, led by Mark Pollack, director of the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at MGH, and Stefan Hofmann, director of the Social Anxiety Program at BU.
"This was a chance to ask if these brain measures, taken before treatment, would be informative in ways above and beyond what physicians can measure now, and determine who would be responsive to this treatment," Gabrieli says.
Currently doctors might choose a treatment based on factors such as ease of taking pills versus going to therapy, the possibility of drug side effects, or what the patient's insurance will cover. "From a science perspective there's very little evidence about which treatment is optimal for a person," Gabrieli says.
The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to image the brains of patients before and after treatment. There have been many imaging studies showing brain differences between healthy people and patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, but so far imaging has not been established as a way to predict patients' responses to particular treatments.
Measuring brain activity
In the new study, the researchers measured differences in brain activity as patients looked at images of angry or neutral faces. After 12 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, patients' social anxiety levels were tested. The researchers found that patients who had shown a greater difference in activity in high-level visual processing areas during the face-response task showed the most improvement after therapy.
Gabrieli says it's unclear why activity in brain regions involved with visual processing would be a good predictor of treatment outcome. One possibility is that patients who benefited more were those whose brains were already adept at segregating different types of experiences, Gabrieli says.
The researchers are now planning a follow-up study to investigate whether brain scans can predict differences in response between cognitive behavioral therapy and drug treatment.
"Right now, all by itself, we're just giving somebody encouraging or discouraging news about the likely outcome" of therapy, Gabrieli says. "The really valuable thing would be if it turns out to be differentially sensitive to different treatment choices."
Written by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Related Brain Activity Articles:
Potential new ways of understanding the cause of cognitive impairments, such as problems with memory and attention, in brain disorders including schizophrenia and Alzheimer's are under the spotlight in a new research review.
A new study by HSE researchers has uncovered a new brain mechanism that generates cognitive dissonance -- a mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values, or experiences difficulties in making decisions.
By measuring brainwaves, it is possible to predict what a child's reading level will be years in advance, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) have proven for the first time that there is a close relationship between several emerging phenomena in magnetic systems (greatly studied by condensed matter physicists) and certain states of brain activity.
The hormone kisspeptin can enhance activity in brain regions associated with sexual arousal and romantic love, according to new research.
Is it possible to directly boost one's own confidence by directly training the brain?
Measuring the brain activity of healthy, older adults while they walk and talk at the same time may help predict their risk of falls later, according to a study published in the Dec.
In order to understand how the brain controls functions, such as simple reflexes or learning and memory, we must be able to record the activity of large networks and groups of neurons.
Researchers led by Dr Tobias Bast in the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham have found that faulty inhibitory neurotransmission and abnormally increased activity in the hippocampus impairs our memory and attention.
Researchers from the University of Missouri have found a connection between lack of ovarian hormones and changes in the brain's pleasure center, a hotspot in the brain that processes and reinforces messages related to reward, pleasure, activity and motivation for physical exercise.
Related Brain Activity Reading:
The Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book: With Easy Puzzles, Coloring Pages, Writing Activities, Brain Games and Much More
by Fun Adult Activity Book (Author)
In this terrific adult activity book, you will find a excellent variety of fun activities.
In particular, the book is full of easy puzzles, brain games, writing activities and coloring pages.
Some of the popular puzzles and brain games in this book include: Word Searches Spot the Odd One Out Shadow Finder Find the Differences Logic Puzzles Sudoku Crosswords Mazes Trivia Challenges and more
There are also many coloring pages in this book including:
Interesting Designs People Flowers Animals Classic Items and more
In this activity book, there are also select... View Details
Brain Changers 365: Build a Better Brain with 7 Activities Each Day
by MS, Lorene "Renie" Lenning (Author), PhD, Oscar Lenning (Author), PhD, Alisha Solan (Author)
Because we're living longer these days, most of us are concerned about maintaining memory and healthy brain function. Brain Changers 365 is a perfect prescription for such concerns. The only side effects are an increase in brain health and some good fun!—Sonia C. Solomonson, Life Coach with www.Way2GrowCoaching.com
It contains a wealth of informative material as well as easy-to-follow directions that allow participants to interact, have fun, and improve brain functioning all at the same time.—Lory Nels Johnson, Iowa Department of Education Consultant
Train... View Details
Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child's Brain Development from Birth Through Age 5 1/2
by Margaret Sasse (Author), Frances Page Glascoe (Foreword)
Movement, play, and active exploration in the first five years of a child’s life are essential to the development of his or her body and brain. Now Active Baby, Healthy Brain presents 135 massages, exercises, and activities that engage your child’s love of play while also stimulating his or her brain development in multiple areas, including:BalanceCross-pattern movementVisualizationVestibular (inner ear) stimulationLateralityFine and gross motor skills
Each activity is presented on its own page with step-by-step instructions, appealing illustrations, and illuminating... View Details
399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young.
by Nancy Linde (Author)
Based on the science that shows that people middle-aged or older who solve word games and brainteasers have a significant cognitive advantage over those who do not, 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges is the illustrated game book specifically created to cross-train the brain. Here are 399 games to stretch, challenge, and push the reader, all of which stimulate the formation of neurons—literally, regrowing the brain.
Plus they’re not only good for you, but just plain good—these games are fun. 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia is a lively mix of challenges, riddles,... View Details
Bubble Gum Brain Activity and Idea Book
by Julia Cook (Author)
A complimentary resource to the Bubble Gum Brain storybook, this activity book features more than 20 fun and engaging classroom activities to help students better understand and practice growth mindset. View Details
The Ultimate Puzzle Book: Mazes, Brain Teasers, Logic Puzzles, Math Problems, Visual Exercises, Word Games, and More! (Activity Books For Kids) (Volume 1)
by J. J. Wiggins (Author)
THE ULTIMATE PUZZLE BOOK is a must-have activity book for kids looking to challenge themselves while having hours of fun.
This book contains:
* wacky mazes
* clever word games
* interesting Math problems
* outrageous brain teasers
* visual exercises
* logic puzzles
Each puzzle is unique and marked with a difficulty rating out of 5 stars. Kids start easy and build their confidence and skills. The most difficult puzzles are guaranteed to stump even parents!
Solutions are provided and explained in detail so that... View Details
Brain Games® #1: Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day (Brain Games (Numbered))
by Editors of Publications International (Editor)
This is the first book in the popular Brain Games® Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day series, which was developed to help people increase their memory, sharpen their reasoning, and expand their creative thinking. Working the puzzles in this book can provide a vigorous mental workout for virtually everyone from teenagers to senior citizens.
The book is divided into five sections of puzzles, each progressively more difficult. Self-assessment questionnaires help you gauge your progress, and solutions to all the puzzles are provided in the final section of the book. Like physical exercise,... View Details
Engage the Group, Engage the Brain: 100 Experiential Activities for Addiction Treatment
by Kay Colbert (Author), Roxanna Erickson-Klein (Author)
A highly innovative collection of activities for use with groups and individuals in addiction treatment settings. Designed to creatively utilize the mind-body connection, these activities are engaging and fun, linked with evidence-based interventions and drawn on emerging brain research, providing a window into reaching clients who may be resistant to traditional talk therapy.
Kay Colbert, LCSW, works in private practice in Dallas, Texas, specializing in adult addiction, mental health, trauma, pain management, anxiety, and women's issues.
Roxanna Erickson-Klein, PhD,... View Details
The Adult Activity Book You Never Knew You Wanted But Can't Live Without: With Games, Coloring, Sudoku, Puzzles and More.
by Tamara L Adams (Author)
Featuring 75 Adult Activities: Coloring, Sudoku, Dot-to-Dot, Mazes, Word Searches, Spot the Difference, Math Logic, Word Scramble, Fallen phrases, Word Tiles, Color by Number, Draw the Other Half, Nanograms, Brick-by-Brick, and Much More! Similar to the ones you had as a kid, but with activities you love now. View Details
Adult Activity Book: An Adult Activity Book Featuring Coloring, Sudoku, Word Search And Dot-To-Dot
by Adult Activity Book (Author)
THE PERFECT BOOK FOR 2018!NEW BEAUTIFUL COVER
We have taken your reviews and made this book the best Adult Activity Book on Amazon! This book contains 136 pages including three expert (600 dots) dot-to-dot puzzles, mazes, USA map quiz, world capital matching quiz, and a play with a friend section!
This book contains:136 pages! Coloring Sudoku Dot-to-Dot Word Seach Word Scramble USA Map Quiz World Capital Quiz Tic-Tac-Toe Dots & Boxes Hangman
These exercises will not only help with relaxation, but also improve... View Details