Medication selection in depression still relies primarily on trial and error, frustrating both patients and clinicians. Diagnostic tests that predict treatment response in advance could facilitate an informed approach and reduce suffering. Ideally, those tests would directly measure brain function. The primary research test of brain function, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), is too expensive to scale to routine care. Electroencephalography (EEG), however, is comparatively inexpensive and fast and could be made available in many settings. Plus, as a direct measure of localized brain activity, EEG is ideal for dissecting the connections between neurotransmission, symptoms, and pharmacologic response.
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Grzenda A, Widge AS. Electroencephalographic Biomarkers for Predicting Antidepressant Response: New Methods, Old Questions. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online January 02, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3749
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