“Since psychotherapy often requires a considerable investment of time and effort, having the means to forecast from the outset whether an individual is likely to benefit could be of great clinical utility,” Trisha Chakrabarty, MD, of the University of British Columbia, and colleagues wrote. “Recent studies have examined whether biomarkers can assist in this context, and it has been suggested that neuroimaging may be able to accurately predict psychotherapy response and perhaps even differentiate psychotherapy from medication responders. These findings have been greeted as a promising advance in the treatment of MDD and anxiety.”
To assess potential clinical utility of neuroimaging biomarkers for predicting psychotherapy response, researchers conducted a systematic review of 40 studies correlating pre-treatment neuroimaging parameters with psychotherapy response in MDD and anxiety.
Analysis indicated the anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala and anterior insula as potential markers for major depressive disorder and some anxiety disorders.
Study results significantly varied and have not been systematically validated in independent clinical cohorts, according to researchers.