Drugs or Therapy?

Interesting piece here by Richard A. Friedman, MD, that appeared in the New York Times in January. Uncharacteristically for a psychiatrist, Friedman looks at which kinds of depression respond more to medication v. which ones respond to talk therapy. The article is titled “To Treat Depression, Drugs or Therapy?”

Dr. Helen Mayberg, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, recently published a study in JAMA Psychiatry that identified a potential biomarker in the brain that could predict whether a depressed patient would respond better to psychotherapy or antidepressant medication.

Using PET scans, she randomized a group of depressed patients to either 12 weeks of treatment with the S.S.R.I. antidepressant Lexapro or to cognitive behavior therapy, which teaches patients to correct their negative and distorted thinking.

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