Monday, January 5, 2009

Brain scans may aid anxious

U.S. researchers suggest brain scans may help predict how anxiety disorders patients react to drug therapy.

"Hopefully we'll be able to use that eventually to determine what kind of treatment to provide to people," lead author Jack Nitschke, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health said in a statement.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine patients with generalized anxiety disorder and found high levels of amygdala activity -- a part of the brain involved in memory of emotional reactions

This response in a "safe" lab settings was a disproportionately large response to the idea that something negative might happen, Nitschke said.


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