Introduction/Functional Brain Alterations in Depression and Anxiety




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Recent advances elucidated by brain imaging techniques have greatly increased our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression. Important findings in the field were the topic of a symposium entitled “Functional Brain Alterations in Depression and Anxiety,” held in Madrid, Spain, during the Xth World Congress of Psychiatry, on August 24, 1996. Areas of focus included the neural structures underlying normal emotional responses; selective alterations in regional brain function in relation to anxiety and depressive disorders; effects of antidepressants on regional brain function; functional alterations predictive of the severity of illness and treatment response; and important methodological and experimental design issues related to positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques.

J Clin Psychiatry 1997;58(suppl 16):3–3