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Front Hum Neurosci. 2009 Dec 23;3:49. doi: 10.3389/neuro.09.049.2009. eCollection 2009.

Neuroimaging in psychiatry: from bench to bedside.

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  • 1Bangor Imaging Unit, Wolfson Centre for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Bangor University Bangor, UK.


This perspective considers the present and the future role of different neuroimaging techniques in the field of psychiatry. After identifying shortcomings of the mainly symptom-focussed diagnostic processes and treatment decisions in modern psychiatry, we suggest topics where neuroimaging methods have the potential to help. These include better understanding of the pathophysiology, improved diagnoses, assistance in therapeutic decisions and the supervision of treatment success by direct assessment of improvement in disease-related brain functions. These different questions are illustrated by examples from neuroimaging studies, with a focus on severe mental and neuropsychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. Despite all reservations addressed in the article, we are optimistic that neuroimaging has a huge potential with regard to the above-mentioned questions. We expect that neuroimaging will play an increasing role in the future refinement of the diagnostic process and aid in the development of new therapies in the field of psychiatry.


bipolar; depression; fMRI; neurofeedback; schizophrenia

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