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Chapter 10. Brain Imaging in Psychopharmacology

Ebrahim Haroon, M.D.; Giuseppe Pagnoni, Ph.D.; Christine M. Heim, Ph.D.; Gregory S. Berns, M.D., Ph.D.; Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623860.426202

Sections

Excerpt

Functional brain imaging refers to a class of techniques that noninvasively measure correlates of neural activity. Positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are the two technologies most commonly used today to study the human brain "in action." The explosion of information about human brain function occurring in the past decade has resulted in large part from these two techniques. As will be described in this chapter, PET imaging has made considerable contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of drug action, mostly through application of radiopharmaceutical labeling of neurotransmitter receptors. fMRI, on the other hand, has gained rapid acceptance because of the widespread availability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, the lack of radioactive exposure, and the better image resolution offered.

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FIGURE 10–1. Functional localization of an epileptic focus in the right temporal lobe during presurgical workup using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET).Source. Image courtesy of Carolyn C. Meltzer, M.D.

FIGURE 10–2. (A) Task-induced increased cerebral blood flow using H2O-PET. (B) FDG-PET resting-state contrasts among depressed patients versus healthy control subjects.FDG = fluorodeoxyglucose; PET = positron emission tomography; Cg25 = subgenual cingulate; pCg = posterior cingulate; Hth = hypothalamus.Source. (A) Adapted from Mayberg HS, Liotti M, Brannan SK, et al.: "Reciprocal Limbic-Cortical Function and Negative Mood: Converging PET Findings in Depression and Normal Sadness." American Journal of Psychiatry 156:675–682, 1999. Copyright 1999, American Psychiatric Association. Used with permission. (B) Image courtesy of Helen Mayberg, M.D.

FIGURE 10–3. Schematic diagram of the effect of hemoglobin (Hb) on the local magnetic field of brain tissue.Only deoxyhemoglobin (deoxyHb) has paramagnetic properties and locally distorts the field, leading to faster spin dephasing.Source. Reprinted from Pagnoni G, Berns GS: "Brain Imaging in Psychopharmacology," in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 3rd Edition. Edited by Schatzberg AF, Nemeroff CB. Washington, DC, 2003, pp. 163–172. Copyright 2003, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Used with permission.

FIGURE 10–4. Relative blood oxygenation level–dependent (BOLD) response to 1-second visual stimulation.These functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data are from the occipital cortex and were obtained in a healthy volunteer in a 3-tesla scanner. The amplitude of the signal is about 2%, with the peak 5–8 seconds after the stimulus.Source. Reprinted from Pagnoni G, Berns GS: "Brain Imaging in Psychopharmacology," in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 3rd Edition. Edited by Schatzberg AF, Nemeroff CB. Washington, DC, 2003, pp. 163–172. Copyright 2003, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Used with permission.

FIGURE 10–5. Ventral striatum activation for wins versus monetary losses during a gambling task, as visualized with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).Source. Image courtesy of Giuseppe Pagnoni, Ph.D.

FIGURE 10–6. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) spectrum from right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex voxel of a healthy individual.MM = macromolecules; NAA = N-acetylaspartate; Glx = glutamate/glutamine; Cr/PCr = creatine/phosphocreatine; Ch = choline; mI = myoinositol.Source. Reprinted from Haroon E, Watari K, Thomas MA, et al.: "Prefrontal Myo-Inositol Concentration and Visuospatial Functioning Among Diabetic Depressed Patients." Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 171:10–19, 2009. Copyright 2009, Elsevier Ltd. Used with permission.
Table Reference Number
TABLE 10–1. Pharmacoimaging in psychiatry
Table Reference Number
TABLE 10–2. Use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in psychopharmacology research
Table Reference Number
TABLE 10–3. Advantages and disadvantages of positron emission tomography (PET) versus functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

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Each of the major neuroimaging technologies studies a different aspect of central nervous system (CNS) functioning. Which of the following neuroimaging techniques is used to study the morphometry of brain structures?
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You have to decide which type of imaging study to use, positron emission tomography (PET) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for a type of research study. Which of the following is an advantage of PET versus functional MRI (fMRI)?
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A task frequently used across a range of disorders involves the presentation of faces with different expressions, such as angry, sad, fearful, happy, and neutral. Which of the following neuroimaging techniques has been used to produce a large amount of data regarding the neural basis of emotional processing?
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