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Rev Neurol. 2010 Feb 1-15;50(3):167-78.

[The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy in affective and anxiety disorders using functional neuroimaging].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Clinica Neuropsicologica Mayor, Alcantarilla, Espana.



In the last decades psychological studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the cognitive-behavioural therapy for most anxiety and depressive disorders. Recently, a different and complementary approach in terms of validation of cognitive-behavioural therapy has emerged: testing the efficacy of these therapies using functional neuroimaging techniques.


Neurological studies evaluate the cerebral functioning causing the appearance of symptoms and monitoring the brain activity. In this revision study we show the implications of different brain structures (amygdala, cingulate cortex, thalamus, insula) with the characteristic symptoms of many mental disorders studied (obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobia, etc.) and the neurological changes after applying a cognitive-behavioural therapy.


At the present there is a very limited number of studies due to the complexity in implementing this type of researches. However, data suggest changes in metabolic activity after cognitive-behavioural therapy at the same time as the decrease of symptoms. Future studies should control the influence of variables such as comorbidity and medication, which prevent more definitive conclusions.

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