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Med Hypotheses. 2014 Oct;83(4):450-64. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2014.07.013. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

"Clinical brain profiling": a neuroscientific diagnostic approach for mental disorders.

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Sha'ar Menashe Mental Health Center, Hadera, Israel; Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. Electronic address:
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel.


Clinical brain profiling is an attempt to map a descriptive nosology in psychiatry to underlying constructs in neurobiology and brain dynamics. This paper briefly reviews the motivation behind clinical brain profiling (CBP) and presents some provisional validation using clinical assessments and meta-analyses of neuroscientific publications. The paper has four sections. In the first, we review the nature and motivation for clinical brain profiling. This involves a description of the key aspects of functional anatomy that can lead to psychopathology. These features constitute the dimensions or categories for a profile of brain disorders based upon pathophysiology. The second section describes a mapping or translation matrix that maps from symptoms and signs, of a descriptive sort, to the CBP dimensions that provide a more mechanistic explanation. We will describe how this mapping engenders archetypal diagnoses, referring readers to tables and figures. The third section addresses the construct validity of clinical brain profiling by establishing correlations between profiles based on clinical ratings of symptoms and signs under classical diagnostic categories with the corresponding profiles generated automatically using archetypal diagnoses. We then provide further validation by performing a cluster analysis on the symptoms and signs and showing how they correspond to the equivalent brain profiles based upon clinical and automatic diagnosis. In the fourth section, we address the construct validity of clinical brain profiling by looking for associations between pathophysiological mechanisms (such as connectivity and plasticity) and nosological diagnoses (such as schizophrenia and depression). Based upon the mechanistic perspective offered in the first section, we test some particular hypotheses about double dissociations using a meta-analysis of PubMed searches. The final section concludes with perspectives for the future and outstanding validation issues for clinical brain profiling.

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