BOSTON, MA — Doctors know that psychiatric disorders always involve
activity in the brain. Now scientists are beginning to get some
glimpses of that activity and how it changes with treatment, reports
the August issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.
source of these insights is the use of such scanning techniques as
positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI). The findings to date—which are preliminary and often
conflicting—usually involve two brain regions: the limbic system, where
memory meets emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which supports
planning, judgment, and self-control. Studies have concentrated on
ultimate goal of understanding psychotherapy's effects on the brain is
to influence the choice of treatments," says Dr. Michael Miller, editor
in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, "However, for now it is still difficult to get consistent results from brain scans."
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