MRI predicts CBT effect on patients with anxiety

At the start of the study, researchers used functional MRIs to measure brain activity as patients looked at images of angry or neutral faces. Participants then underwent 12 weeks of CBT. Afterwards their social anxiety levels were tested.

Those who had greater activation of two high-level visual processing areas in the brain during the face-response task had significantly better treatment response.

The neuroimaging was a significantly better predictor of outcomes of the treatment response than pre-treatment severity alone (40% vs 12%).

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