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July 2001

Neuroimaging Profiles and the Differential Therapies of Depression

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(7):651-653. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.58.7.651

THE ARTICLES by Brody et al1 and Martin et al,2 published in this issue of the ARCHIVES, provide intriguing, albeit preliminary, new data on the functional neuroanatomy of depression. Using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)2 and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET)1 neuroimaging methods, outpatients with major depressive disorder were studied before and after treatment. What distinguishes these reports from earlier neuroimaging investigations using pretreatment and posttreatment designs is that both studies compared the effects of pharmacotherapy with those of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), one of the better studied psychosocial treatments of depression. The report of Brody et al1 is further distinguished by inclusion of a healthy control group, also studied at 2 time points. Results indicated that both treatments were associated with increased blood flow to the left temporal1 or right basal ganglia2 regions. Moreover, in the study of Brody et al1 both IPT and paroxetine treatment normalized metabolism in the prefrontal cortex and left anterior cingulate gyrus.