fMRI may bring precision medicine to depression care

Clinical depression is persistently widespread yet notoriously individualized. It often forces patients and therapists to use an arduous trial-and-error approach in search of the right antidepressant at the right dose, if any, along with the right type of talk therapy—again, if any.

A new study shows that functional MRI (fMRI) can help predict amygdala response to treatments and, in the process, cut out much of the guesswork and its costs.

Lead researcher Leanne Williams, PhD, of Stanford tells Time she hopes standard treatment for depression will soon include fMRI scans.

“There are sets of antidepressants available and basically equal chance of choosing any one of them,” Williams says, adding that treating physicians “don’t know whether they need to refer someone to much more intensive counseling. They have no way of knowing if they should try medication or not.”

Now they may have a way. Read the article: