Brain Images Show Different Therapies for Depression Affect Different Areas of the Brain
by Kevin Caruso
Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide.
And although depression is the most common mental illness, it is highly treatable.
A study that was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that different therapies for depression affect different areas of the brain.
The researchers involved with the study used positron emission tomography (PET) to scan patients' brains. A scan occurred before the patients received 15 to 20 sessions of cognitive (talk) therapy (without drug therapy), and again after the 15 to 20 sessions were completed.
These results were then compared to extensive previous research that has been conducted with drug therapy patients.
The results indicated that both therapies had a positive influence on the brain.
With cognitive therapy, the top (cortical) regions of the brain, which are associated with thinking functions, were affected.
With drug therapy, the bottom regions of the brain, such as the limbic area that drives emotional behavior, were affected.
So both cognitive and drug therapy can positively affect brain function.
Quite frequently, a combination of cognitive and drug therapy is found to be the most efficient way to treat depression, and understanding that each therapy positively affects a different part of the brain helps explain why.
If you think that you are suffering from depression, please make appointments with a doctor and a therapist.
Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. So please get help if you need it.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
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