Amygdala reactivity to emotional faces predicts improvement in major depression


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Abstract

Behavioral studies suggest that emotional reactivity in depressed persons predicts subsequent symptom reduction. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a prospective study, we show that greater amygdala activation to emotional facial expressions among depressed patients predicts symptom reduction 8 months later, controlling for initial depression severity and medication status. Functional magnetic resonance imaging may thus be used as a method to identify neural markers in depressed patients at risk for poor outcome.

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