Neuroimaging-Based Biomarkers in Psychiatry: Clinical Opportunities of a Paradigm Shift

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Fu, Cynthia H.Y. ; Costafreda, Sergi G. (2013)
  • Publisher: Canadian Psychiatric Association

Neuroimaging research has substantiated the functional and structural abnormalities\ud underlying psychiatric disorders but has, thus far, failed to have a significant impact on\ud clinical practice. Recently, neuroimaging-based diagnoses and clinical predictions derived\ud from machine learning analysis have shown significant potential for clinical translation.\ud This review introduces the key concepts of this approach, including how the multivariate\ud integration of patterns of brain abnormalities is a crucial component. We survey recent\ud findings that have potential application for diagnosis, in particular early and differential\ud diagnoses in Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia, and the prediction of clinical response\ud to treatment in depression. We discuss the specific clinical opportunities and the challenges\ud for developing biomarkers for psychiatry in the absence of a diagnostic gold standard. We\ud propose that longitudinal outcomes, such as early diagnosis and prediction of treatment\ud response, offer definite opportunities for progress. We propose that efforts should be\ud directed toward clinically challenging predictions in which neuroimaging may have added\ud value, compared with the existing standard assessment. We conclude that diagnostic and\ud prognostic biomarkers will be developed through the joint application of expert psychiatric\ud knowledge in addition to advanced methods of analysis.
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