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Doctors are beginning to work on using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (also known as fMRI) to scan the brain and possibly predict a patient’s response to antipsychotic medications.

Anil Malhotra, MD, from Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., and certain colleagues took fMRI scans of over 40 first-episode schizophrenia patients to take pictures of their brain without antipsychotic drugs, and then pictures of their brains once under certain medications.

This discovery could be huge, because most patients who are bipolar or schizophrenic are prescribed drugs based on a system of trial and error, which can be extremely daunting, nerve racking, and stressful for a patient and their family, as well as the doctors who are prescribing them.

If doctors are able to witness visually what the certain medications are doing to a patient’s brain before prescribing them, they would be able to avoid and deter a lot of anxiety and unknown fears, causing a much smoother diagnosis for the patient.

 

Ng, Emily. "Researchers use brain scans to predict response to antipsychotic medications" EurekAlert!

 

 AAAS, 28 August 2015. 31 August 2015 < http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-08/nsij-rub082715.php>.

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